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September 19, 2019 Written By: Jaymi Naciri

The study found that, ldquo;Spending on improvements and repairs to the US housing stock continued on an upward trend in 2017, setting a new high of 424 billion. This represents a 10 percent increase from 2015 and more than 50 percent gain from the low in 2010.rdquo; According to their analysis, 22 million homeowners across the country completed at least one home improvement project in 2017, the last year studied.

ldquo;The report, which charted changes in home renovation activity through 2017, attributed part of the increase to a shortage of new construction and a >

The primary ldquo;spendersrdquo; are spread among three main sources: Homeowners using surging equity to make improvements; others playing catch-up on deferred maintenance and much-needed updates; and ldquo;a significant increase in spending by rental property owners,rdquo; they said. It should be noted, however, that owner-occupied homes made up the largest segment of the remodeling market, ldquo;accounting for fully 55 percent of total expenditures in 2017.rdquo; Not surprisingly, the average spend was higher in places where price appreciation was the most robust.nbsp;

A fourth driver is the aging population, ldquo;given that households age 55 and over not only have higher homeownership rates, but many also have the resources to pay for renovations and replacements,rdquo; they said.nbsp;

Spending breakdown

The average expenditure on home improvement was rather modest; 40 percent of participants reported spending a total of less than 2,500, and almost 75 spent less than 10,000. ldquo;Even so, owners that completed large projects accounted for a significant share of the 233 billion homeowner improvement market in 2017,rdquo; they said. ldquo;Indeed, owners spending 50,000 or more contributed a third of national improvement outlays, while owners spending at least 25,000 contributed over half.rdquo;

Most popular home improvement categories

From a historical standpoint, homeowners typically allocate about 40 of their total expenditures on replacements and upgrades. In this study, the percentage was higher.nbsp;

ldquo;Coming out of the last downturn, however, the replacement share climbed to almost 50 percent, where it has remained,rdquo; they said. ldquo;The growing focus on interior and exterior replacements and system upgrades likely reflects necessary investments deferred during the recession. The aging of the housing stock is also a factor. With homebuilding activity still below historical averages, the median age of owner-occupied homes nationally rose to 39 years in 2017, up from 32 years in 2007 and 29 years in 1997.rdquo;nbsp;

Homeownersrsquo; desire for increased energy efficiency also plays a role. The report shows that ldquo;many common replacement projects are also directly >

Most common improvements

The most common project in 2017 was adding/replacing flooring, with 5.2 million homeowners, or 7 percent, reporting. The other most common projects included:

bull;nbsp;Adding or replacing plumbing fixturesnbsp;
bull;nbsp;New windows or doors
bull;nbsp;Built-in dishwashers or garbage disposals
bull;nbsp;New water heaters

ldquo;Nearly 1 in 4 homeowners had some type of replacement project in 2017 to update home components or systems, compared to 9 percent of owners making improvements to their lot or yard such as driveways or walkways, fencing or walls, sheds, landscaping, etc. and 8 percent making discretionary improvements including kitchen and bathroom remodeling, room additions, and porches or decks,rdquo; they said.


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