One of the more subtle signs of potential economic recovery is the increased sales of emulsion paint. This is a useful economic indicator as it highlights the present state of the DIY market, which in turn gives us an insight into the state of Britain’s housing market.

On one hand, if you are facing debt problems then DIY can be a great option in making the most of your home. The old ‘make do and mend’ mindset comes to the fore in times of financial difficulty. However, for those of us with more severe debt management issues, like those facing the threat of impending bankruptcy, then selling your home before repossession can help you pay off debt and hopefully, free up some equity for you too.

The tendency to buy a few tins of emulsion paint to do up the house is a common one. This is understandable as there really aren’t any more cost effective ways of sprucing up and revitalising your home; whether you are intending to sell or not. At the same time though, it can be viewed as a bit of a frivolous expense. If the housing market is in a slump, fewer people are looking to buy, so fewer people are selling. This means that the traditional DIY boom time that follows a fruitful season of house sales has not materialised over the last couple of years.

Sales figures for tins of emulsion have been consistently falling for a while now. From the period between the beginning of 2008 and spring of 2009, for all but two months the amount of paint sold was significantly down on the same period of the year before. However, as of April 2009, we’ve seen much improved sales figures. Between April and June of this year, sales were up by over 16% compared to the same three month spell in 2008.

Essentially, this points to an increased number of people who are willing to invest in their homes. Albeit, in an affordable and relatively superficial manner. This may not necessarily mean that we are about to see a sudden revitalisation in the UK the housing market but it has should be noted that property asking prices in London have broken through the record high set in November 2007. Research has shown that the average asking price for property in London rose by 6.5% in September and October of this year, reaching a high of £461,157. The previous record was £412,731 set in November of 2007.

The improvement in sales has not been noticed across the entire DIY market though. In fact, some areas are still in decline. Bigger ticket purchases, like power tools, which tend to be linked to bigger DIY projects, have not fared so well. So, although we may not be out of the debt woods yet, we can see definite evidence of at least partial recovery. It’s all a matter of confidence. If you’re debt help, it makes sense to make small adjustments to your quality of life and carefully manage your budget. If you want to give your home a new lease of life because you’ve decided to stay put, or because you want to try to sell up, buying paint is a relatively cheap, cost effective method of home improvement.

If you’re facing debt problems and would like some advice in how to solve them, or just some pointers about how you can better manage your finances, get free and confidential debt help from a specialist debt advisor like Harrington Brooks, one of the longest established financial practices in the UK (0800 048 1764).