This article was originally published by Qualified Remodeler in November 2022.
The vast majority of U.S. homeowners are “moving forward with their home improvement projects,” even in the face of industry and economic headwinds, a major new survey has found.
Conducted by Houzz in October, the survey of nearly 4,000 homeowners found that only 1 percent of the homeowners polled report having canceled a home improvement project in 2022. In contrast, 37 percent of survey respondents said they completed a project in 2022 and nearly one-quarter (23 percent) said they are planning to start a home improvement project in the next 12 months.
“Renovation activity and planned renovations remain strong among homeowners, despite various industry and economic headwinds,” said Marine Sargsyan, staff economist for Houzz, the Palo Alto, CA-based online platform for home remodeling and design.
“For many, conditions like limited choices of available homes and rising interest rates are driving them toward renovations and improving their current home, since the cost of moving into a house that fits their current needs has become so expensive,” Sargsyan observed. “Additionally, more than half of the homeowners we surveyed have no intention of selling or moving out of their current residences in the next 20 years, or ever.”
According to the survey’s findings, among those planning to start renovations in the next 12 months, 67 percent want to stay in their current home rather than buy a new home that fits their current needs. More than half of this group (58 percent) will kick off their project in January 2023 or earlier, with top projects including bathrooms (37 percent) and kitchens (33 percent).
Those who canceled a home improvement project in 2022 (less than 1 percent) cited current economic conditions, including inflation, uncertainty and resources to fund the project as their reasons for cancellation. Meanwhile, 11 percent of homeowners would like to start a home improvement project but are holding off for reasons like inflation (54 percent), an inability to afford the project (39 percent), non-urgent projects (30 percent), shortages of products and materials (28 percent), and searching for the right professional to hire (23 percent).
Additional findings of Houzz’s survey include:
- Among those currently updating their home exteriors, respondents noted that windows or skylights top the improvement list (43 percent), followed by exterior doors (42 percent), exterior paint (36 percent), porches or balconies (32 percent), and decks (31 percent).
- With an aging housing stock nationwide, systems updates are common, with electrical (49 percent), plumbing (48 percent), heating (34 percent) and security (34 percent) topping the list among those currently updating their homes.
- Supply chain challenges persist: When asked about the biggest renovation challenges, those who completed projects in 2022 (37 percent) pointed to supply chains, with more than a third citing trouble finding the right products and materials (37 percent). Other top challenges were finding the right professionals (35 percent) and staying on budget (27 percent).
- Renovating over moving: When asked why they are renovating instead of moving to a new home, homeowners cited wanting to stay in the current home or lot as the leading reason (63 percent), followed by wanting to stay in the same neighborhood (34 percent), wanting to personalize features (32 percent), renovating being more affordable (23 percent), and renovating being a better return on investment (22 percent).