| Jun 5, 2014 |
Survey says U.S. homeowners prefer renovation to moving
Boh staff
By Staff

According to the third annual Houzz & Home survey, 66% of U.S. homeowners who are remodeling say they plan to stay in their home for the long term. Although they are remodeling to increase the resale value of their homes—specifically the bathroom and kitchen—they have no plans to move within the next five years.

“The investment that people make in their homes is not only a financial one, it’s also a very emotional one,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Community for Houzz. “Rather than opting to move, the majority of Houzz homeowners undertaking renovation projects are choosing to do so because they want to stay in their home, not because they can’t afford to move. Significantly more homeowners on Houzz are able to fund their remodeling projects this year compared with last year, and we see them investing to create a home that meets their needs now and for the long-term.”

While homeowners remain cautious about the economy, three-quarters (74%) said their local housing market has improved, and there was a significant drop in the percentage of homeowners who said funding their renovation project or staying on budget was a challenge this year (19% versus 27% percent in 2013).

Those who reported a significantly improved local housing market are more than twice as likely to be planning a remodel (42%) than they are to move (16%) in the next two years.

Bathrooms and kitchens are the most popular renovation projects again this year, with 26% of respondents planning a bathroom remodel or addition, and 22% planning a kitchen remodel or addition in the next two years.

Kitchens continue to receive the highest share of dollars overall with U.S. homeowners spending an average of $26,172 to remodel this space. Homeowners in the Northeast and West, who tend to spend more on their renovation projects and have larger project scopes overall, spent an average of $32,155 and $29,411, respectively on their kitchens (versus $23,946 in the Midwest and $21,894 in the South).

Other key findings included:

-    From initial research to the start of construction, homeowners spend six months to a year planning for big ticket renovations projects including custom home builds (12.6 months), complete home remodels (9.7 months) and kitchen remodels/additions (8.3 months).

-    Homeowners who plan to hire a professional service provider over the next two years are most likely to hire a general contractor (52%) and a carpet/flooring professional (34%).

-    Top challenges for homeowners renovating are finding the right products (39%), defining their style (28%), making decisions with spouse/partner (25%) and educating themselves (22%). Millennials had more trouble defining their style and making decisions with their spouse or partner (43% and 34%, respectively) than other age groups.

-    Homeowners are ‘doing more with less,’ with 76% saying that they retained their home’s existing footprint in their last remodeling project.

-    When it comes to replacement projects, flooring/paneling/ceiling are most popular at 27%, followed by windows/doors (22%) and roofing (15%).

-    In addition to paint (44%), respondents are most likely to purchase accessories (36%), lighting (35%), and interior furniture (31%) in the next six months.

-    Cash remains the dominant source of financing across all age groups and areas of the country, with 80% of homeowners saying they paid for their last remodeling project out of pocket.

The annual Houzz & Home survey covers historical and planned projects, the motivations behind these projects, and the impact of the economy on home remodeling, building and decorating plans among the more than 20 million monthly unique users that use Houzz. The study yielded detailed data at the national, regional and metropolitan area level which Houzz used to examine regional differences in priorities and spending.

This survey included 135,000 respondents in the U.S. among 190,000 respondents globally. The full report can be downloaded here.

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