BRITISH homeowners spent a whopping £2,000 each improving their homes over the past five years, research found.

It means that collectively, some £40 billion was spent, according to research from the National Association of Estate Agents.

Redecorating, garden landscaping and new flooring are the most common costs.

The most expensive improvement is a new kitchen, with 27 per cent spending an average of £5,016.

“There are many reasons why homeowners are improving their property. It may be because they have realised the value and sale potential it can add, or they cannot afford to move and are looking to make the most of what they’ve already got,” said Mark Hayward, NAEA chief executive.

He added that it is important not to make décor too personal, so it appeals to as many potential buyers as possible.

“Your house will almost certainly be more attractive to buyers with some general sprucing up and cleaning, and improvements that create a sense of space, privacy and give a great first impression to increase saleability,” he pointed out.

“If you’re making improvements to add value to your home, it’s important to not over personalise the décor so it appeals to future buyers, and will allow them to adapt the property to fit their own needs.”

Some 24 per cent of those surveyed bought a property that needed work, with the intention of making improvements, whereas 13 per cent said they undertook work to create more space.