How Millennials Are Remodeling Their Homes

Data on millennial homeowners has been had to come by, especially as younger people have delayed homebuying (the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University estimated in a June 24 report that the U.S. homeownership rate is near historic lows). But findings from the fourth annual Houzz and Home Survey released in June suggest that millennials don’t significantly diverge from older homeowners when it comes to renovation habits.

“While still a small group, millennial homeowners are just as active as older generations when it comes to renovating and decorating,” Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz, said in a news release. “[O]ur unprecedented data show that millennial views on resale value, energy efficiency, healthy homes, and other factors are similar to those of older generations.”

The report, the largest annual survey covering residential remodeling and decorating, compiled responses from around 170,000 participants and addressed activity in 2014.

Kitchen remodeling remains the most popular project among all age groups, with about a third of homeowners taking on the heart of the home last year. Millennials spent less on these projects than older homeowners: $26,300 for a major remodel compared to the $45,200 Baby Boomers spent on average (the 2015 “Cost vs. Value Report” estimates the cost of a minor remodel at $19,226). But they were just as likely to start kitchen projects.

Other Notable Findings
The survey results highlighted three additional remodeling trends: modifications aimed at aging in place, the growing importance of smart technology, and homeowner concerns regarding health.

More than half (56%) of households with occupants 60 or older are planning on staying in their current homes for the foreseeable future, and they are remodeling to make aging in place more comfortable. Around 60% are improving accessibility in their kitchens, and 69% are making changes such as raising toilets and adding grab bars in their bathrooms.

About a quarter of homeowners doing renovations say that smart home tech is either very or extremely important to them. About one in four who undertook remodeling projects in 2014 installed home automation systems.

The relationship between renovations and health is a polarizing one among U.S. homeowners. Two out of five homeowners said health concerns were very to extremely important to them, whereas one in five rated health concerns as entirely unimportant.

The full report is available for public download online.

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