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Home improvement spending is up — especially with Millennials

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Homeowners are spending more on improvements and maintenance

Consumers are putting their money where their bed is. According to a new study, home improvement spending is up 17 percent. The average homeowner spent more than $9,000 on home projects in just the last year.

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Home improvement spend jumped 17%

According to the new State of Home Spending Report from HomeAdvisor, consumers spend 17 percent more on home improvement projects and maintenance over the last 12 months. 

The average homeowner spend $7,560 on improving their property, $1,105 maintaining it and another $416 on home emergencies. They spent about $5 on improvements for every $1 of maintenance.

Still, though homeowners are spending more on improvement projects, they’re actually doing more maintenance by volume. The average homeowner did nearly seven home maintenance tasks last year compared to just two home improvement projects.

Homeowners have big renovation plans this year, but paying for them? That’s another story

The most common home improvement projects were room remodels, adding or replacing windows, refinishing wood flooring, refacing cabinets and countertops, and painting exteriors.

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How spending habits differ by generation

Spending — and the activities it went toward — varied by generation. Baby Boomers and Generation X homeowners, for example, typically use their cash to alter their home’s design or aesthetics. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to put money toward improving their property’s value.

According to Mischa Fisher, chief economist for HomeAdvisor, this is likely due to age and the fact that many Millennials are first-time homebuyers.

“Many of the millennials who bought a home in the last few years are seeking upgrades to increase the value of their homes and improve aesthetics,” Fisher said. “This focus on return on investment from Millennials is likely due to a combination of typical youthful focus on wealth accumulation and their comparatively poorer financial situation driving a hunger to recover relative to their older cohorts.”

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Get today’s mortgage rates

Need help covering those home improvement costs? A cash-out refinance could help. Shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

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