Through The Virtual Keyhole | AA

27 April 2021

A fifth (22%*) of people use online property websites for home improvement inspiration, according to a survey by AA insurance.

The poll of more than 17,000 people comes ahead of this May Bank Holiday**, when many households take advantage of the long weekend to tackle DIY tasks.

AA Home Insurance recommends that those planning to carry out DIY jobs check that they have accidental damage*** cover on their home insurance policy in case the worst happens as they upgrade their homes.

The survey also found that more than a third of people (36%) regularly log-on to property websites to check a variety of things including; tracking rental and purchase prices, looking at dream homes and peering inside the homes of neighbours and colleagues.

Value trackers, nosey neighbours and dream homes

The most popular reason for people to view such websites is to check house prices of where they would like to or currently live. Two thirds (67%) of younger people (18-34) are more likely to investigate their options to buy or rent compared to just 45% of those aged 65 and over.

Lottery winning ambitions were also revealed as a third (33%) of 18-24 year olds said they regularly looked at properties well outside their price range compared to just 9% of those aged 65 and over, giving a national average of 15%.

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Meanwhile, one in 10 like to do more than just peek over the garden fence and compare their home to their neighbours’ should it be for sale or let.

Top 10 reasons for looking at online property websites;

  1. Investigating house prices for areas I may wish to live in – 52%
  2. Investigating house prices where I live – 50%
  3. Checking the value of my own home(s) – 32%
  4. Finding inspiration for my own home and garden – 22%
  5. Looking at properties well outside my price range – 15%
  6. Other – 10%
  7. Looking at/comparing my home to my neighbours – 9%
  8. Looking at/comparing my home to a friends’ – 3%
  9. Looking at/comparing my home to a family members’ – 2%
  10. Looking at/comparing my home to a colleagues’ – 1%

Bank Holiday weekends are ideal for DIY tasks, but can quickly become disasters

David Coughlan, managing director for AA insurance services

David Coughlan, managing director for AA insurance services, says; “Online estate agent websites are giving people a chance to look behind the curtains and see what home or garden styles they may wish to copy for themselves.

“Bank Holiday weekends are ideal for DIY tasks, but can quickly become disasters should you accidentally kick over that tin of yellow paint on your new cream carpet. Checking you have accidental damage for both your buildings and contents will give people peace of mind.

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“The reasons for logging on to these sites show both the practical and emotional side of British people.

“For some trying to get on the property ladder or finding potential investments means looking frequently, but for others the chance to escape their own four walls and dream of something grander is enough to pass the time and delay those long overdue jobs.”


* AA Yonder Driver Poll, 13-20 April 2021. 17,039 respondents. Respondents could select multiple answers to match their reasons

** https://www.gov.uk/bank-holidays

*** https://www.theaa.com/home-insurance/advice/accidental-damage


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