Gadget-loving generation driving up value of home contents
Consumer electronics dominate the interior look of modern British homes as the country approaches the first stage of the digital switchover. A new study has found that electronics now dominate shopping lists for the UK home and that Britain’s teenagers are driving the nation’s demand for digital goods.
The study, by Legal & General, took a nationwide representative sample of over 5,000 people in July 2006.
By listing the items bought for homes over the following three months, they found that technology accounted for five of the top ten home purchases between July and September. Mobile phones accounted for 18 per cent of consumer purchases in the home, second only to bedding and cushions, DVD players/recorders (15 per cent), MP3 players (13 per cent), flat screen TVs (10 per cent) and computers (10 per cent).
Young people aged between 18 and 20 are spearheading the demand for electronic goods. Demand for mobile phones in this age group was 28 per cent compared to a national average of 18 per cent. Demand for MP3 players is more than double the national average at 30 per cent compared to 13 per cent.
The research also highlighted regional differences in the goods people bought for their home. People in the North East bought the most things for their home in the last three months, with an average of 3.15 items per person, whereas people in the Borders, the West Country and London bought the fewest items (1.45, 2.15 and 2.29 items per person respectively).
Scotland emerged as the gadget capital of the UK with 37 per cent of people in the North of Scotland and 31 per cent in Central Scotland having purchased portable electronic items in the last three months. Yet people just south of the border were the least likely to have purchased electronic devices (17 per cent) or home entertainment systems (20 per cent).
Garry Skelton, marketing director at Legal & General’s General Insurance business, commented, “While the research suggests consumer buying for the home is strong, the findings also point to an alarming gap when it comes to protecting the valuable items people have bought.
“Although more than seven in ten people (71 per cent) have purchased items for the home in the last three months, only one in four (25 per cent) have reviewed their home contents insurance cover during that same period.”
Skelton continued, “Many people appear to be seriously under-estimating the value of their home contents. Except for two regions, the South East and East Anglia, people valued their home contents below £15,000. Legal & General has calculated that for an average three-bedroom home the value of the contents could be at least twice that amount at just over £35,000.
“We would advise everyone to review their home contents insurance and in particularly check that any purchases made during the summer, such as the new TV to watch the World Cup or for the digital switchover is adequately covered.”