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Remodeling Spending Up Sharply, Houzz Survey Finds

PALO ALTO, CA — Home renovation spending has grown 15% in the past year, with kitchens remaining the most popular remodeling projects undertaken by U.S. homeowners, according to the tenth annual “Houzz & Home” survey.

The annual survey of more than 70,000 registered users of Houzz found that while median spending on kitchen remodeling has been flat for the past three years, investment on major remodels of kitchens jumped 14% in 2020 compared to the prior year. The survey, fielded this spring, also found that the renovation market will continue to be robust in 2021, with 56% of surveyed homeowners planning to renovate this year, the highest share since 2017.

“While the pandemic caused initial concern for the residential renovation industry, many homeowners finally had the time and financial means to move forward with long-awaited projects in the past year,” said Marine Sargsyan, senior economist for the Palo Alto, CA-based online platform.

“This pent-up demand, along with other long-standing market fundamentals such as accumulated equity, will empower homeowners to continue investing in their current homes rather than face skyrocketing prices in the housing market,” Sargsyan added.

With homeowners largely homebound due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the share who reported that they had wanted to pursue a home renovation and finally had the time increased by 6% in 2020 (44% compared 38% in 2019) and remains the top renovation trigger. Wanting to (remodel) all along and finally having the financial means also rose compared to the prior year, Houzz said, adding that a quarter of surveyed homeowners claimed to have renovated instead of moving because it was the more affordable option.

Other survey findings were as follows:

• While interior room remodels remain the most common projects (68%), outdoor areas have increased in popularity, with 2020 showing a jump of six percentage points (57%) among renovating homeowners.

• While Baby Boomers (ages 55-74) have historically led in both renovation activity and spending, Gen Xers (ages 40-54) narrowed the gap in 2020. Gen Xers now account for 32% of renovating homeowners (up from 30% in 2019), Houzz said. Millennials (ages 25-39) represented 12% of renovating homeowners.

• Homeowners are investing in smaller areas that may once have been considered a luxury but are now considered a necessity, Houzz noted. For example, demand for home office projects jumped four percentage points (14%) in 2020. Median spending on closet upgrades also saw an increase of 43%.

• Smart home technology purchases continue to rise in popularity. A larger share of renovating homeowners purchased smart technology products for their outdoor spaces than the previous year, including security cameras, light fixtures and speakers or sound systems.

 

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