UK households spent a total of £10.5 billion on DIY in 2012 – equivalent to around £400 each - the lowest total since 2000 and the fifth successive annual fall.
The figures from Lloyds TSB show a fall of 8 per cent in real terms after allowing for inflation from the £11.3 billion spent in 2011 and a third lower than the peak of £15.5 billion in 2004.
Expenditure on tools and equipment for home improvements dropped 6 per cent from £3.6 billion in 2011 to £3.4 billion last year, while spending on DIY materials including paint fell 9 per cent to £7.0 billion.
In terms of paying for tradesmen's services, the total also fell between 2011 and 2012, by 7 per cent in real terms from £7.8billion to £7.2billion.
Over the past 10 years, spending on DIY increased by 13 per cent between 2002 and 2007 during the housing market boom with a 42 per cent rise in spending on tools. Since the, the decline in real DIY spending has fallen by a quarter.
Nitesh Patel, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, aaid: "The continuing squeeze on discretionary incomes and the subdued state of the housing market is causing many householders to reduce their spending on home improvements. With economic conditions expected to remain challenging, the current squeeze on spending on both DIY and tradesmen is likely to continue for some time yet."