Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank

October 03, 2013 06:52 ET

Lonely Britain: Over Half of Families No Longer Have Dinner Together

Report finds home traditions struggling under modern pressures

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwired - Oct. 3, 2013) - More than half of UK households are ditching family dinners for home alone time, according to new research.

Now 59% of UK homeowners have dinner at a different time to the rest of the family, and 53% are snubbing the living room to watch TV in the bedroom, the study by Lloyds Bank Insurance revealed.

The Britain at Home report found that although the majority of homeowners live with a partner (90%) or children (54%), the nation is spending more time alone in the house.

Perhaps fuelled by the influence of technology such as tablets, laptops and multiple TVs in the home, more than one in six (16%) said they spend the most waking hours in the bedroom.

The kitchen renaissance

While a century ago the kitchen was purely a functional area for most households, it is now the most valuable room in the house, worth an estimated £4,909 on average.

A third (31%) of those polled said they spent the most time at home in the kitchen and over half (58%) now entertain friends there instead of the living room. UK homeowners have spent £413 on kitchen gadgets in the past year, with 41% investing in a coffee machine and 33% buying a bread maker.

Yet as the kitchen rises in popularity, the dining room appears to be falling out of favour. While two thirds (64%) of homeowners have a dining room, the vast majority (84%) say they usually have dinner in the living room.

Melanie Backe-Hansen, house historian and author of House Histories: The Secrets Behind Your Front Door, said: "Our homes have always reflected how we lead our lives. In modern Britain it's now common for our homes to contain more screens than people, and for members of the family to spend more time on their own after a busy day.

"It is fascinating to see modern life taking its toll on how we use our homes. Although nowadays living spaces in the home are less defined than the Victorian period, and far more multi-functional, it seems the tradition of families sitting down to eat together may be impacted by longer working hours, more hectic social lives and the growing influence of
technology."

Over three quarters (77%) of homeowners surveyed confess to splashing out on the home to improve their wellbeing. However, over one in five (22%) admits keeping up with neighbours and friends is their spending motivation, whilst a quarter claim TV and magazines as the main influences for sprucing up their living spaces.

While spending on the inside of our homes increases, as does the need to protect them. Although 83% of homeowners say their home contents are insured, one in 20 (5%) admit they don't know whether their contents are covered. One in 10 has no home contents insurance at all.

Tim Downes, senior claims manager, Lloyds Bank Insurance, said: "The home has always been an extension of the owner's identity and that investment in improving is often driven by a desire for personal comfort but also for presenting an image to visitors.

"Our homes are now mirroring our whirlwind schedules, but it is crucial that homeowners slow down occasionally to check that their prized possessions are adequately protected."

Notes to editors:

About Britain at Home

Britain at Home is the second part of a bi-annual report commissioned by Lloyds Bank Insurance, which is designed to build a comprehensive picture of British home life and spending priorities by shining a light on the way we invest in and utilise our homes and gardens. This insight is based on research of 2,000 UK homeowners carried out between February and March 2013.

Garden Values - the first report in the series - was released in April 2013 and revealed that garden-proud homeowners are now increasing spending on luxury, lifestyle items for the garden.

About Lloyds Bank Insurance

Lloyds Bank Home Solutions is underwritten by Lloyds Bank General Insurance Limited and has a 5 Star Defaqto rating. Lloyds Bank Home Options is arranged by Lloyds Bank Insurance Services Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers, including our related company Lloyds Bank General Insurance Limited.

About Melanie-Backe Hansen

Melanie Backe-Hansen is a house historian and writer. Her first book House Histories: The Secrets Behind Your Front Door published in July 2011. Her second book, Historic Streets and Squares, revealing the histories behind a selection of streets and squares across the country, is to be published in October 2013.

Methodology

Research consisted of 2,000 UK homeowners - conducted online between February and March 2013 by OnePoll on behalf of Lloyds Bank Insurance.

Contact Information