With hi-fi systems, satellite TV and all that DIY to enjoy, Britons are a nation of stay-at-homes

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The Independent Online

Britain is a nation of stay-at-homes, with one in three people spending every night indoors, according to a survey published today.

Britain is a nation of stay-at-homes, with one in three people spending every night indoors, according to a survey published today.

Just one in seven adults goes out to socialise every Saturday night. Fully two thirds venture beyond their living rooms on a Saturday night less than once every four weeks.

Research for the insurance company More Th>n found that people seem more willing to spend money on home entertainment and DIY work than on nights out.

Graham Hollebon, head of personal finance at More Th>n, said: "We are living increasingly busier lives, making our spare time more precious. From our research, it appears that there is a growing trend to spend this time entertaining ourselves at home rather than on traditional activities such as going down the pub or visiting the cinema.

"As a result, we are spending more time and money on DIY and entertainment systems, which in turn is driving up the value of our possessions."

The average home's contents are now worth £44,500, a 50 per cent increase in 10 years.

And people spend an average of £4,362 a year on improving the inside of their homes, according to the company's survey of 2,500 house owners.

More than seven million homes now have Sky satellite channels and 3.3 million have cable channels.

Londoners are the biggest socialisers, with 24 per cent venturing out every Saturday. In contrast, just 10 per cent of people in the North-east and 4 per cent of people in Northern Ireland are regular Saturday night revellers.

The growing trend for staying in was also reflected at New Year. Spending on alcohol and party food in supermarkets soared during the days before New Year's Eve and eight out of 10 people saw in 2005 from the comfort of their own homes.

With the growing popularity of home cooking and the high cost of eating out compared with other European countries, analysts are predicting that 2005 will be the year of staying in.

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