DIY spending has plunged to its lowest level in over 15 years.

Households spent £7.8bn on DIY last year, down 17% after allowing for inflation on 2010’s £9.4bn figure, according to research from Lloyds TSB.

Spending in the sector is not even half the level of the £15.5bn spent at the peak of the housing boom in 2004.

The decline has hit both tool and material sales according to the research, as real expenditure on tools and equipment dropped by almost a fifth to £3.1bn last year.

The wet weather over the Bank Holiday weekend is likely to have hit sales for DIY and garden retailers such as B&Q and Homebase.