Australia's largest survey of residential renovation activity, the 2019 Houzz and Home Australia Study reveals the renovation priorities of homeowners across the nation.
Of the 8800 Australians who responded to the renovation and design platform's survey, 50 percent report renovating an average of three rooms per project across 2018. Kitchens were the most popular rooms to renovate at 26 percent, followed by living rooms (23 percent) and bedrooms, bathrooms and laundries at 17 percent.
At 79 percent, projects undertaken by Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 74) and Gen Xers (age 40 to 54) make up the overwhelming majority at a median spend of $21,000 and $23,000 respectively. And it just keeps going. Forty seven percent of current renovators plan to continue or begin new restorations in the next survey period.
"Despite a number of headwinds for the global and national economy, renovation activity continued to keep pace in 2018 and will likely experience a robust growth in 2019," says Houzz principal economist, Nino Sitchinava.
"Pent up demand continues to drive renovation activity, while spend on discretionary projects such as kitchens continues to grow, signalling strength in consumer confidence."
Below are five more key findings of the Houzz and Home report:
Funding renovation projects
The majority of renovating homeowners pay for renovations using cash from savings (76 percent), followed at a distance by credit cards that can be used anywhere (19 percent) and cash from home mortgage refinance (13 percent). Interestingly, reliance on credit cards is higher in Millennials (ages 25 to 39) than in older generations.
Finding the right professional for the job
Nine in ten renovating homeowners hired a professional in 2018 (90 percent), with electricians, plumbers and carpenters in greatest demand (62, 51 and 40 percent respectively). Baby Boomers are more likely to hire professional help than Millennials by 10 percent (93 percent versus 83 percent).
Making 'smart' decisions
Over one in ten homeowners prioritise smart technology during home renovations (12 percent), purchasing products like home assistants, streaming media players and security cameras. Baby Boomers are more likely than Gen Xers and Millennials to rank smart technology as high priority (15 percent versus 10 and 9 percent respectively), however Millennials are still incorporating the most home assistants (22 percent), compared with one in ten Baby Boomers (11 percent).
Improving energy efficiency
While improving the design and functionality of a home are the top priorities during renovations, over two in five homeowners prioritise energy efficiency (43 percent), through projects such as the replacement of windows and insulation. This is particularly important for Baby Boomers when compared to Gen Xers and Millennials (50 percent versus 39 and 36 percent respectively).
The final touch
Nearly two-thirds of renovating homeowners in 2018 also decorated or furnished their home the same year (65 percent). Millennials were significantly more likely to decorate following home renovations than Baby Boomers (73 versus 60 percent), purchasing products such as pillows, throws and interior furniture.
To read the full 2019 Houzz and Home Australia Study, click here.
Image: Suzi Appel Photography and Von Haus Design and Build.