Baby Boomers are still the primary drivers of the home renovation market according to a new Houzz survey - accounting for 55 percent of all renovating homeowners for the year of 2019. More than 87,000 Americans took the survey.
55 percent is an increase for Baby Boomers, who saw a 52 percent share in 2018. Gen Xers (ages 40-54) were the second biggest group, reaching 30 percent. Millennials were third at 12 percent, actually declining from 14 percent in 2018.
Overall home renovation activity remained stable year-over-year, with 54% of homeowners reporting a renovation project in 2019 and tackling nearly three interior rooms on average.
When the study was fielded in early 2020, planned activity for the year remained consistent with past years, however the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on planned renovation activity remains to be seen.
The Houzz & Home survey was fielded prior to the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic, between January 2 and March 5, 2020. At that time, half of homeowners on Houzz reportedly planned to continue or start renovations this year (51 percent), at a median spend of $10,000, and one third of homeowners planned to make repairs (36 percent).
“Subsequent surveys* have shown that over half of homeowners who were in the midst of a project at the start of the pandemic were able to continue with renovations. That said, some homeowners have opted to delay certain elective renovations due to implications related to social contact, labor and material availability and personal discretionary spending,” said Sargsyan. “Maintenance and repairs, on the other hand, are more likely to proceed, especially when the need is urgent. Deferred maintenance will accrue during this period, setting the stage for a renewed burst of activity following the pandemic.”
Other highlights include: 
Nearly nine in 10 homeowners hired a home professional for renovation projects in 2019 (88 percent). Specialty service providers, such as electricians and plumbers, were the most common renovation professionals tapped by homeowners (50 percent), followed by construction professionals including general contractors, kitchen or bath remodelers, builders and design-build professionals (36 percent). Design-related professionals, often hired by homeowners irrespective of renovation type, were brought in by nearly one in five renovating homeowners (19 percent).
Cash from savings was by far the most common form of home renovation payment (83 percent), even in projects with significant spend over $50,000. The next most common source of funding was credit cards (38 percent), which were more commonly used by those with less expensive projects, between $1,000 and $5,000.
San Jose, California continues to lead as the most expensive metro area in which to renovate a home, with double the national median spend ($26,000). Boston homeowners reported the second highest median renovation spend ($21,000), followed closely by coastal metro areas including, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego and San Francisco ($20,000 each).
Ten percent of renovating homeowners spend $80,000 or more on their home renovations. Among these projects, younger homeowners experienced a growth in expenditure, with Gen Zers up 90 percent and Millennials up eight percent compared to the previous year, whereas Gen Xers and Baby Boomers’ high-end project spend dropped by three and a half and 11 percent, respectively.
While kitchens and guest bathrooms continue to be the most popular rooms to renovate (27 and 25 percent, respectively), home offices were added or upgraded by one in ten homeowners in 2019 (10 percent). Millennials and Gen Xers were more likely to pursue a home office project (11 percent, each) than Baby Boomers (9 percent).
Nearly one quarter of homeowners made tech-related purchases during their renovations (24 percent), with nearly 70 percent of those purchases being smart technology, which can be monitored or controlled from a mobile device or computer. Light fixtures were the most popular technology purchase during home renovations, with one in ten being a smart light (11 percent). Other smart technology purchased during renovations include home assistants, thermostats, and alarms or detectors (26, 13 and 12 percent, respectively). Outdoor technology purchases were led by security cameras (17 percent), with two in five of those purchased providing smart technology (20 percent).


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