HomeAdvisor on Tuesday released its True Cost Report on generational trends in home improvement, the negligible impact of rising interest rates on homeowner decision making, and the growth of home improvement spending.

Findings of the report show that 80% of homeowners surveyed plan to stay in their existing homes rather than move, and as a result are planning to spend more on home improvement projects this year, with half of all respondents considering a remodel.

Photo: W. Gloede
Photo: W. Gloede

The report, authored by HomeAdvisor's Chief Economist Brad Hunter, shows that millennials, for whom homeownership rates are increasing rapidly, are more likely than any other generation to remodel any part of their home—and take on the highest number of projects. While other generations take on fewer projects, millennials tend to spend more per renovation.

"Most millennials have had to compromise on the size and condition of their starter homes — with many purchasing older homes in need of repair just to be able to afford homeownership," said Hunter. "Many of the millennials who bought a home in the last few years are seeking to upgrade. But a lack of housing inventory, coupled with inflated home prices and rising mortgage rates, has them renovating their existing homes instead of selling and moving."

Additional Highlights from the 2018 True Cost Report include:

  • Millennials are not only more likely than any other generation to remodel any part of their homes, but they're twice as likely as baby boomers to complete bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects.
  • Millennials have completed the most home projects in the past 12 months — 72% more, 42% more, and 18% more projects than the silent generation, baby boomers and Gen Xers, respectively.
  • Five in six millennials plan to spend as much or more on home improvements in the coming 12 months as they did last year, with more than half of millennials expecting to spend more.
  • Homeowners spent an average of $6,649 on home improvements per household in the last 12 months.
  • The majority of homeowners say they're planning to spend as much or more on home improvements in the coming year with a heavy focus on cosmetic enhancements such as painting, landscaping and remodeling.

Data included in the True Cost Report is based on an online survey conducted by HomeAdvisor's internal research team. The survey was conducted nationwide among 1,012 homeowners from March 21-30, 2018. All survey participants were primary or joint decision makers in decisions related to home maintenance and improvement projects completed in the prior 12 months.