Australians are demanding bigger kitchens and bathrooms, with a new report from the Housing Industry Assn. predicting the value of kitchen and bath installations and renovations will hit a record $12 billion (Aus) by 2012.

The HIA Kitchens and Bathrooms Report for 2009/10 highlights the amount of money Australians spend each year on kitchen and bathroom renovations and the state of industry activity. The report found the past financial year was tough for the kitchen and bath industry. In value terms, the kitchen industry was worth $5.6 billion in 2008-09, which represented a fall of 5.1%t.

“Despite evidence to suggest that detached houses in Australia may be gradually declining in size, there has been a clear trend towards larger kitchens in Australia for some time now,” said HIA Chief Economist Dr. Harley Dale. The report predicts the value of kitchens will rise to almost $6 billion in 2009-10 and almost $7 billion by 2011-12.

“The intense competition amongst kitchen installers is likely to see the trend towards better quality kitchens continue for the foreseeable future,” Dr. Dale said. The bathroom industry also suffered last financial year. The report found it was worth $3.9 billion in 2008-09, which represents a 6 % contraction from a year earlier.

“Fortunately, the worst appears over, and 2009-10 is expected to feature a lift in housing starts as well as overall renovations activity, which is good news for bathroom installations,” Dr. Dale said.

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