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COVID-19 Inspiring Future Renovations

PALO ALTO, CA — Shelter-at-home mandates resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are inspiring a number of significant home improvement projects, with outdoor spaces, bathroom renovations and kitchen remodels topping consumer wish lists.

That’s the key finding of a major new survey conducted among nearly 1,000 U.S. homeowners by Houzz, the Palo Alto, CA-based online platform for home renovation and design.

The survey, according to Houzz, revealed that “many homeowners are considering major home remodeling and design projects now that they’ve spent more time at home,” with nearly four in five (79%) reporting “that they are dreaming about changes that would help them to enjoy their home more.”

Outdoor, bathroom and kitchen projects topped homeowner wish lists, Houzz said, adding that among those consumers with home-improvement dreams, nine in ten are planning to upgrade their homes following the COVID-19 pandemic. Top planned projects reflect homeowner wish lists, with outdoor upgrades (27%), master bathroom (25%) and kitchen renovations (23%) the leading projects planned. Among homeowners planning to upgrade their homes, desired changes include new décor (47%), better lighting (30%) and an improved layout (27%), Houzz said.

With many people sheltering in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, homeowners reported a significant uptick in baking and cooking activities compared to the months prior to the pandemic, Houzz said. Homeowners have also “turned their homes into multi-use spaces for exercising and working at home,” the company added.

The Houzz survey findings mirrored those of another recent poll conducted by the National Association of Realtors, which concluded that potential home buyers “are seemingly altering their preferences for specific home features as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The NAR survey found, for example, that features that homebuying prospects identified as “important” now include home offices, yard space for exercising or growing food and space to accommodate family members.

About one in eight realtors reported buyers “have changed at least one home feature that’s important to them due to COVID-19,” the Washington, DC-based NAR reported, adding that five percent of the realtors surveyed also said their clients are shifting neighborhood preferences from urban areas to suburban areas due to the novel coronavirus.

Although lockdown orders are currently being eased, “the fact that millions of people were compelled to spend unprecedented amounts of time inside their homes may have a longer-term effect on people’s preferences for home offices, exercise rooms and other specialty rooms,” the NAR said, noting that more than three in four potential sellers (77%) are preparing to sell their homes following the relaxing of coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders. ▪

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