- Nearly one in 10 (7%) homeowners who found an item in their attic that they didn’t know was there say it was worth £1000 or more
- The average value of hidden gems found in Brits’ attics comes in at £348
- Nearly one in five (19%) homeowners found items in their attic left by previous owners when they moved in
- Unusual items found in people’s attics include an old Bakelite telephone with a recording of Churchill talking, antique ‘Troika’ pottery and an original Beatles LP
Attics are often the space in the home that everyone forgets about, yet shockingly one in 10 (7%) homeowners have found an item of value in the attic that they didn’t realise was there, according to new research by Confused.com.
The findings from the leading price comparison website reveals that while seven in 10 (70%) UK homeowners have an attic, surprisingly more than a quarter (27%) didn’t check the attic before moving into their home. In fact, 3% still haven’t, which may explain why these unexpected items of value are turning up.
For those homeowners who did decide to check the attic, nearly one in five (19%) found items left by the previous tenant. And of those who have found a surprise in their attic, the average value was £348. However for a lucky few (7%), the hidden treasure they discovered were worth more than £1,000.
Some of the valuable and intriguing items uncovered in people’s attic that they didn’t know were there include:
- An old Bakelite telephone with a recording of Churchill talking
- An original Beatles LP from the 1960s
- Antique ‘Troika’ and ‘Clarice Cliff’ pottery
- Stamp collections
- Old football programmes
- First edition books
Worryingly, many homeowners may fail to realise the full value of these forgotten-about items which may have been growing in value while left lying around in the attic for years. And this couldn’t be more true when recently a collection of rare Chinese stamps were found hidden away in an attic in Cotswolds. The stamps were collecting dust for more than 100 years, and are now set to fetch £250,000 at auction1.
Yet despite this unique case, many homeowners have got a good idea what their attic is worth, and on average the value of a person’s loft is £653. Surprisingly, one in 20 (5%) homeowners have attic contents worth more than £2,000.
For many homeowners the attic’s primary function is one of storage (77%), while some admit to just using their attic as a dumping ground (34%). Amongst the most popular items stored in people’s attic are Christmas decorations (75%), followed by suitcases (70%) and children’s toys (45%). Other homeowners are squirreling away their family heirlooms (14%) and antiques (4%).
However many Brits (17%) are going ‘up’ in the world and are wanting to use this forgotten space and convert it into a living area. In fact, 6% of homeowners have already done so. And an attic conversion can be the ideal way to add value to a home, so by taking to the skies homeowners can add as much as 20% to the value of their home2.
As the findings show, attics have their uses; from storage purposes to creating additional living space. However, it’s worrying to note that nearly one in 10 (9%) homeowners openly admit to not protecting any of their belongings, as they don’t have home contents insurance. As a result, many homeowners are not covering themselves for any financial gains they make if they stumble upon hidden attic treasures. Even for those who do have a home contents policy in place, many may forget to take into account the added value of the contents of their attic.
Gareth Lane, Head of Home Insurance says: “The attic has traditionally been a place in the house that no one sees, however as this research has shown many homeowners have uncovered unique treasures by rummaging through their attic, and in some cases those items have been worth thousands. However, these hidden valuables are contributing to people undervaluing their home contents, leaving many homeowners vulnerable to hidden loss if they become the victim of theft or damage to the home.
“The research highlights some homeowners are putting their attics to other uses, such as creating extra living space, which in turn could increase the value of the property. However, many may forget to re-evaluate how much their property is worth, as well as the added contents value if they are furnishing this extra living space. We would urge homeowners to make sure they have adequate home insurance cover for their individual needs, and make sure they keep their policies up-to-date.”
Notes to Editors
Unless otherwise stated, all figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll research on behalf of Confused.com. This was an online poll of 2,000 UK homeowners (nationally representative sample). The research was conducted between 30th October and 3rd November 2015.
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Launched in 2002, Confused.com was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance and is one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services, generating over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include small van insurance, motorcycle insurance, car buying and selling, and car finance, as well as a number of tools designed to save drivers money on motoring.
Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides an objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com’s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators.
Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Confused.com is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.