Homeowners spend more on renovations despite slight dip in activity

A Houzz Survey has found Gen Xers lead in median spend, while Baby Boomers drive renovation activity as spend has surged in the last three years.

Median spend* has increased 13% from £15,000 in 2020 to £17,000 in 2023, according to Houzz, the leading home renovation and design platform, including project management software for industry professionals. The 2024 UK Houzz & Home Study of nearly 1,800 respondents found that the top 90th percentile of spend also doubled to £200,000, from £100,000 in 2020. While renovation activity remains consistent with 48% of homeowners having taken on a renovation project in 2023, this is down a percentage point from last year.

Gen Xers** spent the most on renovation projects for the second consecutive year, with their median spend at £22,000, compared with Millennials and Baby Boomers at £15,000 and £16,000, respectively. The top 10% of spenders in these groups allocated substantial budgets, with Gen Xers at £200,000 and Baby Boomers at £180,000. While Gen X leads in spend, Baby Boomers continue to drive renovation activity (54%), followed by Xers (34%) and Millennials (12%). 

“Despite economic headwinds, investment in home renovations continued in 2023. Gen Xers, in particular, continued to lead the charge in spending,” said Marine Sargsyan, Houzz staff economist. “As homeowners finally had the means to upgrade their spaces, the reliance on professional help remained strong. Looking ahead, nearly half of homeowners are now planning renovations, highlighting a strong enthusiasm for enhancing living spaces.”

Along with this substantial investment, nearly all renovating homeowners enlisted the help of a home professional in 2023 (93%), with specialty service providers such as electricians (59%), and plumbers (52%), hired most frequently. Homeowners are also taking the time to both plan and save for their projects. Renovation planning is typically double the time the actual construction takes. Plus, “finally having the financial means” is the project catalyst for more than a third of renovating homeowners. 

Considering that motivation, it’s no surprise that cash from savings continues to be the most common form of funding for renovation projects (86%), followed by credit cards and cash from a previous home sale (18%, each). Credit card usage jumped 7 percentage points in 2023 (10% in 2022). 

Multi-Room Renovations

Homeowners consistently undertake multiple renovation projects simultaneously. Renovating homeowners on average target nearly three interior room upgrades and two or more outdoor projects during their renovations. 

Bathrooms Lead in Project Activity

Bathrooms continue to lead as the most commonly renovated interior room (29%), closely followed by kitchens and living rooms (26% each). Following last year’s significant jump in median spend for bath and kitchen projects, these renovations saw increases of 39% and 16%, respectively, reaching £7,300 for bathrooms and £15,100 for kitchens in 2023. 

Outdoor Projects Back in the Spotlight

Following a brief drop, outdoor project activity rose 17 percentage points in 2023 (51%, compared with 34% in 2022). Outdoor lighting is the most commonly updated outdoor system (28%). Security systems follow (15%, up nearly 2 percentage points from last year), as homeowners install cameras and sensors around their properties.

* Median spend is the midpoint level, meaning half of renovating homeowners on Houzz spent more and half spent less.

** Generational categories follow Pew Research Center’s age ranges: Millennials (25-39), Gen Xers (40-54) and Baby Boomers (55-74). 

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