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Growth of UK housing market leads to online shopping sprees

29 October 2014 - 11:30 by Paul Tissington

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With house prices in the UK continuing to grow, people across the country who choose to sell their homes are managing to extract a bit of a windfall when they switch properties. This is leading to changes in shopping habits, according to new figures from the British Retail Consortium.

Over the past three months, analysts have detected a 15 per cent rise in the number of people who are searching for products related to home and gardening activities, with BRC spokesperson, Helen Dickinson, saying that it is generally agreed that sales of such items tends to be intrinsically linked to the housing market.

Dickinson also pointed out that people are not only using safe shopping online to buy products to use in and around the home, but also to seek out the best possible deals on mortgages.

In August, the average price of a home in the UK hit £274,000, which is up by 12.2 per cent compared with the same period in 2013. And with more money in their pockets, people are choosing to splash out on things that they can use to improve their new homes or spruce up their existing properties, to make them more saleable.

This is good news for e-commerce retailers, but not so positive for those operating on the high street, as BRC figures found a 2.6 per cent decline in visitors to shopping malls across the UK during September this year. Meanwhile, 41 per cent more people were found to be searching for shopping opportunities from their smartphones, with a 22 per cent increase in tablet activity year on year also reported.

Being able to carry out safe shopping online for almost anything, from a new carpet to a new mortgage, empowers consumers in the UK more so than any other country in the world.