Where Homeowners Intend to Spend the Most on Home Improvements in 2024

Where Homeowners Intend to Spend the Most on Home Improvements in 2024

Feb 08, 2024

The home improve­ment indus­try has proven resilient over the past year, and despite some lin­ger­ing eco­nom­ic uncer­tain­ty and below-trend growth, there are pos­i­tive signs of home­own­ers reg­u­lar­ly plan­ning new repairs, ren­o­va­tions, and main­te­nance projects in the com­ing year.

Find­ings from HIRI’s 2023 Project Deci­sion Study reveal that 79% of home­own­ers tack­le mul­ti­ple home improve­ment projects annu­al­ly, with the aver­age num­ber of projects com­plet­ed up from 2.7 in 2015 to 3.4 in 2023.

Change in Number of Home Improvement Projects Completed from 2015 to 2023
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At the end of last year, about 61% of home­own­ers were plan­ning to under­take at least one home improve­ment activ­i­ty in the next 90 days — or first quar­ter of 2024. About 18% were plan­ning at least one large project, accord­ing to data in our Home Improve­ment Quar­ter­ly Project Activ­i­ty Track­er, and kitchen projects were at the top of the list for most fre­quent­ly planned projects.

Change in Median Project Spend from 2015 to 2023
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Fur­ther research into con­sumer spend­ing and sen­ti­ments gives a glimpse of where they are plan­ning to invest mon­ey into home improve­ment in the com­ing months. This data can help you iden­ti­fy unmet needs that pro­vide areas of oppor­tu­ni­ty, for­mu­late appro­pri­ate new mar­ket­ing mes­sages, and iden­ti­fy ini­tia­tives for dri­ving growth.

What Housing Market Trends are Influencing Homeowner Spending?

In the large scheme of things, there are some pos­i­tive indi­ca­tors and trends with­in the hous­ing indus­try that will like­ly impact how home­own­ers approach improve­ments, main­te­nance, and repairs in 2024.

Mort­gage rates — which have been incred­i­bly volatile for the past sev­er­al years — have start­ed to bal­ance out by the end of 2023. Look­ing ahead towards some Fed­er­al Reserve rate cuts lat­er in 2024 that may help ease hous­ing afford­abil­i­ty pres­sure could lead to more move­ment among exist­ing home inventory. 

In 2020 and 2021, we saw many indi­vid­u­als who were plan­ning to move at some point accel­er­ate their deci­sion-mak­ing to take advan­tage of low mort­gage rates. The oppo­site was true in 2023, with peo­ple choos­ing to stay in their cur­rent homes because of high mort­gage rates, which cre­at­ed a sort of lock-in” effect that drove remod­el­ing and repairs to keep homes func­tion­al and com­fort­able for a longer duration.

That lock-in dynam­ic — cou­pled with a lim­it­ed hous­ing sup­ply and ris­ing home prices — is expect­ed to con­tin­ue in 2024, although there are signs that sin­gle-fam­i­ly con­struc­tion will con­tin­ue going strong, as we saw in 2023 and exist­ing home sales will thaw at least a little.

For home improve­ment pro­fes­sion­als, the over­all indus­try resilien­cy should pro­vide some con­fi­dence, although it is worth not­ing that costs are inevitably a bar­ri­er for home­own­ers, espe­cial­ly in light of con­sumer uncer­tain­ty and a height­ened risk of recession.

Is Home Improvement Spending Changing Among Homeowners?

Home­own­er spend­ing on home improve­ment projects has changed a bit over the past cou­ple of years. We saw a sig­nif­i­cant spike in total project spend in 2021, and although it eased down in 2023, it is still above his­toric lev­els, accord­ing to our 2023 Project Deci­sion Study.

That being said, there is a lot of indi­vid­ual project vari­a­tion in terms of dri­ver, spend­ing, tim­ing and sea­son­al­i­ty, inci­dence rate, and product/​material shop­ping and pur­chas­ing deci­sions. For exam­ple, res­i­dence char­ac­ter­is­tics and home­own­er demo­graph­ics play large roles in deter­min­ing what projects are completed.

When it comes to projects being planned for 2024, gar­den­ing and land­scap­ing, as well as inte­ri­or paint­ing, are report­ed­ly going to be the most pop­u­lar. Anoth­er 18% of respon­dents are plan­ning a bath­room remod­el, 16% are plan­ning a kitchen remod­el, and 12% are plan­ning to replace or refin­ish floor­ing in the com­ing year. These three projects also had the high­est per­cent­age rates of being can­celed or post­poned by home­own­ers in 2023.

Percent of Homeowners Planning Specific Projects in 2024

The No. 1 rea­son for post­pon­ing or can­cel­ing a project is cost. Find­ings in the 2023 Month­ly Home­own­er Activ­i­ties and Sen­ti­ments Track­er show that 61% of home­own­ers who post­poned or can­celed a home improve­ment, repair, or main­te­nance project in Decem­ber 2023 iden­ti­fied bud­get or finan­cial con­cerns as the pri­ma­ry cul­prit. This is pret­ty on par for the past year. The sec­ond pri­ma­ry rea­son was sched­ule or tim­ing at 30%.

Reason for Postposing or Cancelling Home Improvement Project in 2023

Our research, in part­ner­ship with The Farnsworth Group, shows that help­ing home­own­ers track their costs accu­rate­ly and effi­cient­ly will help them avoid get­ting an unpleas­ant sur­prise when the project is com­plet­ed, ruin­ing what could oth­er­wise be a pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence. For exam­ple, devel­op­ing project plan­ning and bud­get­ing apps and paper check­lists can aid home­own­ers and enhance their over­all sat­is­fac­tion, lead­ing them to take on more home improve­ment projects in the future.

Homeowner 2023 Monthly Tracker CTA Preview

The costs of most home improve­ment projects have risen and a few are becom­ing sig­nif­i­cant­ly more expen­sive over time. For exam­ple, the aver­age price of a roof replace­ment was $7,700 in 2015 and increased to an aver­age of near­ly $15,000 in 2023. A bath­room addi­tion also jumped from an aver­age of $9,000 to an aver­age of approx­i­mate­ly $15,000 in the same timeframe.

How Much Will Homeowners Spend on Home Improvement in 2024?

In 2023, a major­i­ty of respon­dents spent about $100 to $499 in home improve­ment and main­te­nance costs. In Decem­ber of last year, 18% spent between $500 to $999, and 20% spent between $1,000 and $4,999.

Look­ing ahead to 2024, here is a break­down of planned projects by cost:

Where Q1 2024 Planned Spend is At or Below $500:

  • Guest bed­room
  • Home office
  • Shop/​hobby room
  • Inte­ri­or entrance or foyer
  • Garden/​yard/​landscaping work

Where Q1 2024 Planned Spend is Between $500 and $1,000:

  • Laundry/​mud/​utility/​sunroom
  • Garage
  • Din­ing room/​breakfast nook
  • Mas­ter bedroom
  • Exte­ri­or structures
  • Liv­ing room/​den/​family room

Where Q1 2024 Planned Spend is Above $1,000

  • Guest bath­room
  • Whole home mechanics
  • Out­door liv­ing areas
  • Mas­ter bathroom
  • Kitchen projects
  • Base­ment or attic
  • Home exte­ri­or shell

HIRI mem­bers have access to spe­cif­ic dol­lar fig­ures report­ed by home­own­ers for what they intend to spend on each project type in 2024. These insights are avail­able in the Q4 2023 edi­tion of the Quar­ter­ly Home Improve­ment Project Activ­i­ty Tracker.

At a medi­an cost of $3,000, work on the home exte­ri­or shell was the most expen­sive project for home­own­ers in the last quar­ter of 2023, and it stands to be the most expen­sive activ­i­ty in 2024, as well. How­ev­er, only about 5% of respon­dents were plan­ning for this type of project in the first quar­ter of 2024. Mean­while, paint­ing projects are by far the most planned home improve­ment activity.

Addi­tion­al­ly, about 50% of home­own­ers felt costs met their ini­tial expec­ta­tions on projects com­plet­ed in the fourth quar­ter of 2023. A few areas where costs were sig­nif­i­cant­ly more than expect­ed include whole home mechan­ics, exte­ri­or struc­tures, and kitchen projects.

To help mit­i­gate costs, an increas­ing num­ber of home­own­ers are tak­ing on DIY projects, or at least try­ing to con­tribute some labor to their home improve­ment activ­i­ties along­side pro­fes­sion­als. This is a trend we saw last year that is expect­ed to con­tin­ue in 2024.

Stay on Top of Changes in Customer Sentiments and Behaviors

Home improve­ment spend­ing shows a small aver­age increase over the past two years, with 35% of home­own­ers boost­ing their spend­ing in 2023. There isn’t like­ly to be rapid growth in 2024, but home­own­er spend­ing is still strong. 

To dig deep­er into the num­bers and plan for the com­ing year, become a mem­ber of the Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute and get instant access to our full data sets. Our wealth of indus­try­wide research into con­sumer behav­iors, sen­ti­ments and activ­i­ties will help stretch your mar­ket research dol­lars and sup­ple­ment your company’s inter­nal reports and cus­tom mar­ket research to give you more insights and con­fi­dence in your strate­gic decision-making.

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