One in five of Sainsbury's loan customers during the first half of the year used the money they borrowed to pay for home improvements .
According to Sainsbury's Finance, homeowners are spending more on home improvements and investing more in their properties, despite the ongoing economic conditions which have squeezed household budgets recently.
The figures show that 19.5 per cent of Sainsbury's loans were taken out for making home improvements, only a marginal decline when compared to 20 per cent for the same period in 2009; the supermarket bank also found that there was a 47 per cent increase between 2007 and 2009 in the number of people taking out loans for this purpose.
The average value of personal loans in the UK taken out for funding home improvements has also risen, up 12 per cent from £8,237 for the first six months of 2009, an estimated £3.2billion for the year, to £9,225 in 2010, when Sainsbury's expects the total figure to be similar.
Steven Baillie, head of loans at Sainsbury's said: "Some recent reports indicate that many Britons are delaying buying major items at the moment, but our figures indicate that when it comes to our homes, improving them is the exception, perhaps because despite increasing positivity in the housing market, many may still be choosing to improve rather than move.
"If people do decide that they need a loan to pay for their home improvements, they should make sure they look around for the best rates on the market, which could save them a considerable amount in repayments."
Sainsbury's offers its shoppers a "market leading" rate of 7.8 per cent on loans from £7,500 to £14,999.
"Ultimately, you must make sure you're getting the best possible rate for your requirements and not paying over the odds, because you don't have to," added Mr Baillie.
© Fair Investment Company Ltd
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