Why more homeowners are investing in their biggest asset


Home renovation activity and spending has reached the highest rates reported in New Zealand since 2019, a Houzz survey finds

Nearly half of homeowners renovated their homes in 2021 (48 percent), up from 41 percent in 2020. Following the 13 percent growth in median spend last year, homeowners report an additional 31 percent jump in median renovation spend at $23,500. Homeowners with higher budget projects (the top 10 percent of spend) invested up to $140,000 in 2021.

Home renovation activity continues into 2022, with nearly half of homeowners planning to renovate (46 percent) and nearly two-fifths planning to decorate (38 percent) this year. Homeowners report a planned median renovation spend at $17,500 for 2022.

Interestingly for the first time since 2019, homeowners with higher-budget renovations (the top 10 percent of spend) planned spend has increased to $89,000 for 2022 versus $73,500, a 21 percent jump.

“Homeowners are clearly committed to investing in their homes despite heightened product and material costs driven by supply chain disruptions, and are exploring diverse funding sources,” says Houzz Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Tony Been.

Cash from savings remains the most significant source for funding renovation projects (81 percent), however, homeowners financing renovation projects with credit cards that can be used anywhere gained three percentage points (16 percent). More than one in ten homeowners funded their renovation projects through cash from a previous sale or refinancing in 2021 (13 percent and 12 percent respectively).

Demand for home professionals

More than four in five homeowners sought help from professionals for their renovations in 2021 (83 percent).

Homeowners relied most heavily on the expertise of specialty service providers such as electricians (53 percent) and plumbers (45 percent) for their projects.

That said, builders (30 percent) were the most hired professionals in construction and design-related services.

Interestingly, tile and stone professionals saw a significant 12 percent jump in 2021 compared with 2020 (25 percent and 13 percent, respectively).

Switching up interiors 

Investments in interior rooms remained the priority for seven in ten renovating homeowners in 2021 (71 percent).

Kitchens are both the most popular interior room to be upgraded and the room that commanded the highest spend at $30,000. Kitchens saw an increase in spend of 50 percent compared with 2020 ($20,000).

Interior rooms that saw the most dramatic increase in popularity from the previous year included primary bathrooms (23 percent), living/family room (22 percent) and dining rooms (19 percent).