For a second year, researchers polled homeowners from 30 cities to determine where the most house proud Brits live – with Oxford, London and Aberystwyth topping the list.
Each city was awarded points based on their efforts to improve and upkeep their homes during the past year – taking into account things such as money spent on improvements and time spent cleaning.
Oxford was named the most house proud city, with its residents spending the most money on improvements and furnishings, and also utilizing the services of more tradespeople than elsewhere.
But London, last year’s most house proud city, dropped to second place.
Checkatrade commissioned the research for its second annual Home Pride Index report which found 35 per cent of the 2,399 adults polled love their homes more now than they did a year ago.
Their affection for their dwellings is also reflected in increased home improvement spending, with an average £2,706 invested in the last 12 months.
More than a third of homeowners (34 per cent) even admitted they get envious when they see other people’s homes.
Entertaining guests at home
One of the trends which emerged from the 2020 report was the numbers of home office areas created – but in 2021 this figure dropped by 26 per cent.
Instead, as lockdown restrictions were relaxed, people prioritized areas of their homes where they would likely entertain guests – such as their kitchens and gardens.
The rooms which got the most investment were areas of the home where guests are likely to venture – the garden (£403.92), living room (£371.61), and bathroom (£348.66).
Mike Fairman, CEO of Checkatrade, said: “2020 put a strain on our homes, as we repurposed rooms and pushed their capabilities and robustness to their limits.
“As we returned to a more ‘normal’ way of living in 2021, it’s not surprising that almost a third of us have re-evaluated the relationship we have with our homes.
“This has no doubt contributed to why we’re all so loved-up – and we’re expecting this to be reflected in continued home improvement investment in 2022.”
While those residing in Wolverhampton may not have been the biggest spenders, they did invest the most time cleaning and tidying their homes last year – a total of four hours and 41 minutes a week.
In comparison, homeowners in Edinburgh set aside just two hours and 59 minutes each week – the least of any area.
Those living in Aberystwyth, which came third in the study, invested more money in making their homes greener than anywhere else – £519 during the past 12 months.
And more of those living in the mid-Wales city consider themselves to be house proud than all the cities polled – 69 per cent.
But in contrast just 20 per cent of those in Cheltenham feel the same.
Half of those living in Cardiff managed to reduce their DIY to-do lists over the past year – the highest proportion of everyone polled.
And 52 per cent of Oxford locals actively follow the latest trends and developments in home décor and improvement – more than anywhere else.
Carried out through OnePoll, the study also looked ahead towards the 12 months and found getting a new kitchen (23 per cent) is top of the list of improvement they hope to make.
This is followed by giving the bathroom a makeover (23 per cent) and redecorating their living room (19 per cent).
Most house proud cities
1. Oxford – 227 points
2. London – 193 points
3. Aberystwyth – 188 points
4. Glasgow – 172 points
5. Newcastle – 157 points
6. Leeds – 150 points
7. Brighton and Hove – 146 points
= Southampton – 146 points
8. Worcester – 144 points
9. Manchester – 141 points
10. York – 139 points
11. Wolverhampton – 131 points
12. Cambridge – 130 points
13. Aberdeen – 128 points
14. Cardiff – 127 points
15. Plymouth – 125 points
16. Belfast – 119 points
17. Sheffield – 117 points
18. Liverpool – 111 points
19. Bristol – 107 points
20. Chelmsford – 106 points
21. Birmingham – 103 points
22. Coventry – 101 points
23. Swansea – 94 points
24. Wrexham – 86 points
25. Leicester – 71 points
26. Norwich – 69 points
27. Portsmouth – 66 points
28. Gloucester – 65 points
29. Edinburgh – 61 points
Money spent on improvements and having major work done to their homes
Highest: Oxford – £6,251.35
Lowest: Gloucester – £1,436.89
Money spent on furnishings and aesthetics
Highest: Oxford – £9,349.22
Lowest: Gloucester – £1,301.58
Proportion of respondents who consider themselves to be house proud
Highest: Aberystwyth – 69 per cent
Lowest: Chelmsford – 20 per cent
Proportion of respondents with an interest in home decor and improvement trends
Highest: Oxford – 52 per cent
Lowest: Sheffield – 22 per cent
Time spent cleaning/tidying/organizing the home per week
Highest: Wolverhampton – four hours 42 minutes
Lowest: Edinburgh – two hours 59 minutes
Number of tradespeople used per house on average
Lowest: Gloucester – 1.21
Proportion of households who have fewer DIY unfinished jobs left to do this year compared to last year
Highest: Cardiff – 50 per cent
Lowest: Gloucester – 20 per cent
Money invested to make homes greener
Highest: Aberystwyth – £519
Lowest: Portsmouth – £133