Renovation activity driven by older generations; Homeowners integrate smart technology
Overall, renovating activity remained strong through 2018, according to the annual Houzz & Home Ireland survey of nearly 600 respondents in Ireland, with over two in five homeowners on Houzz renovating (46 percent) an average of 3 rooms per project, at an overall median spend of €20,000. Baby Boomers (ages 55-74) and Gen Xers (ages 40-54) combined represent three-quarters of the renovating activity (75 percent). Similar to expectations from previous years, 42 percent of renovating homeowners planned to continue or begin renovations this year.
“Despite a number of headwinds for the global and national economy, renovation activity continued to keep pace in 2018 and is building on a strong momentum in 2019,” said Nino Sitchinava, Ph.D., Houzz principal economist. “Pent up demand continues to drive renovation activity, while spend on discretionary projects such as kitchens continues to grow, fueling home-related investments.”
As homeowners consider whether to renovate their current home or to purchase a new home, the top two considerations for renovating are to stay in their current home or area, outranking return on investment. Wanting to stay in the current home is the biggest decision driver for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, whereas Millennials (ages 25 to 39) chose to stay in their current home and renovate because it was more affordable than moving.
Funding Renovation Projects
The majority of renovating homeowners pay for renovations using cash from savings (84 percent), followed at a distance by credit cards, excluding store-specific credit cards (11 percent), and gift/inheritance (10 percent).
Finding the Right Professional for the Job
Nearly all renovating homeowners hired a professional in 2018 (96 percent). Electricians, plumbers, carpenters and painters were in greatest demand (77, 60, 53 and 53 percent, respectively).
Making “Smart” Decisions
Over one in six homeowners prioritise smart technology during home renovations (18 percent), purchasing products like home assistants, streaming media players and thermostats. Interestingly, Baby Boomers are more likely than Millennials or Gen Xers to rank smart technology as a high priority (21 percent, versus 17 and 16 percent, respectively), with a quarter of Millennials incorporating home assistants (25 percent), compared with one in five Baby Boomers (20 percent).
Improving Energy Efficiency
While improving the design and functionality of a home are the top priorities during renovations, nearly three in five homeowners prioritise energy efficiency (58 percent), replacing windows and insulation, for example. This is particularly important for Baby Boomers when compared to Gen Xers and Millennials (74 percent versus 51 and 50 percent, respectively).
The Final Touch
The majority of renovating homeowners in 2018 also decorated or furnished their home the same year (64 percent). Millennials were significantly more likely to decorate following home renovations than Baby Boomers (75 versus 56 percent), purchasing products such as large interior furniture and lamps.
The Houzz & Home Survey
The annual Houzz & Home survey is the largest survey of residential renovating, building and decorating activity published. The survey covers a wide range of renovation projects in 2018, from interior renovations and extensions to home systems, exterior upgrades and outdoor projects. Data gathered includes historical and planned spends, professional involvement, motivations and challenges behind building, renovation and decorating projects, as well as planned activities for 2019. The 2019 study includes 591=N respondents in Ireland alone, providing insights into the home improvement activity of the more than 40 million users of the Houzz site and mobile apps.
The Houzz & Home Survey was sent to registered users of Houzz Ireland and fielded in April 2019.
Houzz has over 19 million photos of professionally designed interiors and exteriors, including completed kitchen and bathroom projects, and more than 2.4 million active home renovating and design professionals including architects, interior designers, home builders and design-build firms.