NW lags behind on home improvements

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North West householders are well below the national average when it comes to doing home improvements, says a new survey.

Figures show there were 1.2 home improvement applications for every 100 homes in the region last year, an increase on 2011, but still below the national average of 1.8.

Ribble Valley bucked the trend and came out top of the North West charts with 2.4 applications per 100 homes. Experts put this down to the significant number of so-called “affluent grey” residents living in the area.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said: “Areas such as the Ribble Valley tend to attract a high proportion of wealthy individuals looking to purchase second homes, which drives up home improvement activity.”

Blackpool came bottom with just one home improvement application made for every 250 private homes – one of­ the lowest rates in Britain.