Spiking costs aren’t slowing home improvements: ‘Owners are committed to investing,’ Houzz survey finds

People have been busy improving their home during the pandemic, despite higher costs and supply shortages, and many will continue to make upgrades, according to the 2022 Houzz & Home Study released April 27.

Home renovation and decorating reached the highest rates reported since 2018, according to Houzz’ 11th annual survey.

And homeowners participating in the study say they plan to spend $15,000 in 2022 to fix their kitchen, roof or plumbing, among other popular changes, compared to $10,000 for the past three years, a 50 percent jump in the median, the study shows.

Additionally, the top 10% of homeowners intend to spend $75,000 on major projects in 2022 compared with $60,000 in 2021, based on responses from nearly 70,000 U.S. users of Houzz’ home remodeling and design website.

On average, owners customizing a recently purchased home made changes in three to four rooms, as well as installing new windows and doors and repairing electrical and other home systems, according to survey responses provided between February and March 2022.

More homeowners also upgraded cooling and heating systems in 2021 than in 2020, and spent 25% more on home security systems and 20% more on water heaters.

“Renovation activity remains strong due to market fundamentals, including limited and aging housing stock, despite heightened product and material costs driven by supply chain disruptions,” said Marine Sargsyan, Houzz staff economist. “Homeowners are clearly committed to investing in their homes.”

Tthe 2022 Houzz & Home Study was released April 27.Houzz

The 2022 Houzz & Home Study also revealed:

Motivations: The most common reason owners gave for executing long-desired improvements was they finally had the time and money.

Other reasons offered by those surveyed were they needed to adapt to recent lifestyle changes or repair or replace damaged materials. People who said they were sprucing up their home to sell it dropped from 10% in 2020 to 9% in 2021.

Creating outdoor living spaces peaked in 2020, with the start of stay-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic; 57% of those surveyed then put effort and money into their yards, while in 2021, the percentage dropped to 54%.

People who moved into their home one to five years ago upgraded their outdoor spaces at a higher rate than longterm or recent owners. On average, this group added two features such as a deck, gazebo, fence or irrigation system, the study says.

A larger share of homeowners updated interior rooms (70%), home systems (63%) and home exteriors (58%) in 2021, the survey shows.

Motivations: The most common reason to renovate was owners finally had the time and means to make long-desired changes. Some needed to adapt to recent changes in lifestyle or repair damage or replace aged parts. The share of those renovating for a planned home sale declined from 10% in 2020 to 9% in 2021.

The most common reason to renovate was owners finally had the time and means to make long-desired changes. Houzz

Paying for improvements: Savings and credit cards remain the leading forms of paying for home improvements. People who bought their home within the last five years were more likely to rely on cash from a previous home sale, while longterm homeowners were more likely to use secured home loans in 2021.

Savings and credit cards remain the leading forms of payment, according to the 2022 Houzz & Home Study.Houzz

Renovation period: Homeowners spent an average of nine or more months on a renovation project in 2021. Across remodels of all interior room types, the planning phase was nearly twice as long as the construction phase, the study shows.

Kitchen remodels required the longest construction period, almost five months, while the construction phase for bathrooms and other interior rooms was a month shorter on average.

Homeowners spent an average of nine or more months on a renovation project in 2021. Houzz

Budgets: Almost two-fifths of homeowners surveyed came in at or under budget when renovating in 2021. However, almost the same share (34%) went over budget. That said, 27% of renovating homeowners didn’t even have an initial budget for their 2021 renovation, according to Houzz.

Recent homebuyers, who were more likely to go over budget, found that expenses were higher because products or services were costlier than expected, projects were more complex than anticipated and unexpected issues that needed to be addressed were discovered, the study shows.

Median spend increased across all interior room renovations in 2021.Houzz

Hiring professionals: Slightly more homeowners surveyed hired professionals for their renovations in 2021 than in the year prior; 89% versus 87%. Recent homebuyers tackling more projects are the most likely to hire professional help.

Nearly half of renovators surveyed hired pros for electrical, plumbing and other projects. The median spend on electrical upgrades in 2021 spiked by 50% compared to 2020, says Houzz.

The median spend on electrical upgrades in 2021 spiked by 50% compared to 2020.Houzz

Upgraded rooms: In 2021, homeowners in the study spent 25% more money on remodeling a kitchen compared to 2020. The biggest increase, however, were for guest bathrooms (38%), laundry rooms (33%), living rooms (33%) and guest bedrooms (28%), says Houzz.

For primary bathroom remodels, the median spend amount of $9,000 in 2021 is higher than $8,000 in 2020, 2019 and 2018, and $7,000 in 2017.

Exterior upgrades: Homeowners overall spent 11% more on new roofing in 2021 compared with 2020, says the study. Median spend increased for all exterior building upgrades in 2021, especially exterior doors (50%) and gutters or downspouts (40%).

Median spend increased for all exterior building upgrades in 2021.Houzz

Security systems: Outdoor security systems are nearly three times more popular now than they were in 2015. Some homeowners purchased wireless doorbell cameras and outdoor and indoor security cameras, and opted for products that can be monitored or controlled remotely, the survey says.

— Edited by Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

jeastman@oregonian.com | @janeteastman

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