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Is DIY losing to DIFM in the home improvement market?

There has been a lot of talk about the potential shift from DIY towards DIFM (do-it-for-me). However, is this trend really there yet and what are the main drivers behind it? USP is able to answer this questions based on facts from our study the European Home Improvement Monitor, a month-to-month indicator for home improvement jobs in Europe by USP Marketing Consultancy based on 26,400 interviews per year.

Growth in DIY

With an overall stronger performance of the housing market in Europe, the DIY market is expected to enjoy a strong growth. A possible disrupter for this growth could be the perceived trend of DIFM over DIY. One could assume that consumers in more mature markets will shift towards DIFM, where trades people are hired to do the work for them. There are a couple of key drivers that could fuel this shift, with the most important being the aging population of Western Europe and the decreased willingness/knowledge of younger consumers to do DIY jobs themselves. Even though cost is still very important, the younger consumer is inclined to spend more money on a professional than give up their time to do home improvements jobs themselves.

Furthermore, in the UK home ownership is higher amongst older generations whereas the millennials are less likely to own their own homes (so called ‘generation rent’)

 DIFM trend

There are already some retailers who are anticipating this trend. An example is B&Q, with their TradePoints in the DIY stores, targeting the trade customers. It is therefore interesting to see what the current status is on DIY vs DIFM and what the trends show us. Not based on perceived trends, but on hard facts. As can be seen in the image, roughly a third of the European home improvement jobs are DIFM jobs. It’s also clear to see that this share is higher in certain countries. Even though this is already a relatively high share, it hasn’t changed that much in the last 3 years. In fact, this percentage has been steady and doesn’t show a trend. This is not to say that the perceived shift couldn’t happen in the future, but it’s not happening right now. We will keep monitoring this trend on a quarterly base.

 These are some of the results of the European home improvement (11 countries, 26,400 successful interviews with consumers annually).Q: Did you conduct the home improvement job yourself or was a professional involved?

About the European Home Improvement Monitor

The European residential new build market currently has limited growth potential. Due to the economic recession the new build volumes have dropped dramatically. The renovation and refurbishment sector on the other hand has become important and it is expected its importance will grow even further. There is a lot of information available about the DIY market and the renovation market in the professional segment. However, there’s no  source that provides insight in the size of the total home improvement market, both jobs done by consumers and professionals, and the main trends in this market. The European Home Improvement Monitor is the first research that monitors the market size and main trends in the European home improvement market on a continuous basis. Each month 2,000 successful interviews are conducted across Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This means that 26,400 interviews are conducted among European consumers on a yearly basis. The results from this research are reported on a quarterly basis and show the development of the market in terms of purchase volume and purchase channels. Furthermore, each quarter in-depth insight is given in topics which are up to date in the market.