Survey Says: Strong Growth in Home Improvement Spending

BY Courtney Huckabay

Homeowners seeking to tackle home improvement projects are not deterred by political and economic uncertainties and are spending nearly 60 percent more than a year ago on home improvement, according to HomeAdvisor’s 2017 True Cost Report.

2017 True Cost Report highlights:

  • Home Improvement is politics-​proof. Homeowners’ feelings about the presidential administration do not negatively impact homeowners’ willingness to take on home projects. While just 35 percent of homeowners are confident that their personal economic situation will improve as a result of policies enacted by the Trump administration, more than 80 percent of homeowners maintain they are planning to complete as many or more home projects in the next 12 months.

This is great news for the industry! Now run with it! The new AudienceSCAN survey showed 18% of Americans completed a home improvement or restoration project in the past year and intend to do so again!

  • Homeowners are spending more on home improvement and planning for more. Homeowners tackled more home improvement projects from February 2016 through February 2017 than they did from February 2015 through February 2016. What’s more, nearly two-​thirds of homeowners report plans to spend the same amount or more on home improvement projects in 2017 than they spent in 2016.
  • Baby boomers and millennials are leading the charge. Baby boomers are doing more home projects — and spending more money — than any other group of homeowners, followed closely by millennials.

Would you guess that more women than men are starting these projects? The new AudienceSCAN study reported 55% of Home Improvement/​Restorers are female.

  • Younger homeowners tend to DIY. Home project spending is up among millennials, but less than half report always hiring a professional to help complete home improvement projects — in part because they’d have to save for or finance a home improvement, and in part because they’re uncertain they’re being charged a fair price.

The remodeling/​restoration industry can reach these homeowners through direct mail. The new AudienceSCAN results revealed 41% of Home Improvement/​Restorers took action after receiving ads/​coupons in the mail in the past 30 days. Also, 20% think mailed ads/​fliers are the best for comparing prices.

  • Home improvement is gaining the most traction in the West and Northeast. Homeowners in the West and Northeast are spending the most on home improvement. And, because they’re accruing some of the highest equity, they’re also taking out the most home equity loans to complete projects.

With the advent of millennials buying homes, including some fixer-​uppers, and baby boomers well-​established in their homes, there are more people in a homeownership position than there were in the last two years. These trends, along with rising home values and increased homeowner equity, are fueling home improvement spending,” said Hunter. “I’m expecting to see continuing strong growth in large and discretionary improvement projects, including an increasing number of bathroom, kitchen and garage remodels.”

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.