Takeaways About Homeowner Spending Behaviors in the Summer of 2023

Changes in Home Improvement Spending Behaviors in 2023

Jun 19, 2023

In part­ner­ship with The Farnsworth Group, the Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute releas­es two month­ly sur­veys that track changes in home­own­er home improve­ment activ­i­ty and pro­fes­sion­al con­trac­tor home improve­ment activ­i­ty each month.

These track­ers pro­vide insight into changes in home­own­er and Pro inten­tions to start new projects, how the work will be com­plet­ed, the top chal­lenges fac­ing home­own­ers and Pros and how they are respond­ing to those chal­lenges in their project and prod­uct decisions.

In May a pri­ma­ry theme emerged in that a major­i­ty of home­own­ers pri­or­i­tized cost-friend­ly home improve­ment options, whether that meant opt­ing for small­er-scale projects or going the do-it-your­self route.

Homeowner Home Improvement Spending is Changing

After heights of home improve­ment spend that occurred in 2021, home­own­er spend­ing pat­terns as of May of 2023 revealed telling changes in how home­own­ers are cur­rent­ly approach­ing home improve­ment projects.

  • 52% of home­own­ers spent under $500.

  • 19% spent between $500 and $999.

  • 17% spent between $1,000 and $4,999.

  • 12% spent more than $5,000.

These spend­ing pat­terns indi­cate that a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of home­own­ers are tak­ing on small­er scale projects, but take note that both future intent and actu­al com­ple­tions of home improve­ment projects is still very high.

HIRI Webinar: Home Improvement Trends as of Q2 2023

As of May 2023

  • 84% of home­own­ers sur­veyed com­plet­ed a home repair or main­te­nance project
  • 62% com­plet­ed a home improve­ment project
  • 19% of home­own­ers report­ed they are def­i­nite­ly plan­ning to start a project in the next 30 days
  • 31% of home­own­ers report­ed they will prob­a­bly start a project in the next 30 days (the high­est per­cent­age so far in 2023)

Fur­ther data from the Month­ly Track­ers shows that fewest num­ber of home­own­ers report a project hav­ing been post­poned or can­celled than at any time so far in 2023.

Ulti­mate­ly, home­own­er intent to remod­el is strong, but bud­gets are nar­row­er than in the last cou­ple of years. 

For retail­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers, this sug­gests the impor­tance of offer­ing a diverse range of afford­able prod­ucts options to cater to this mar­ket seg­ment with­out sac­ri­fic­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for high­er-end prod­uct sales, as 29% of home­own­ers still spent above $1,000.

Here is a more detailed break­out of small- vs. larg­er-scale projects by home area:

Where Q2 2023 Planned Spend Is At or Below $500

  • Shop/​hobby room 
  • Inte­ri­or entrance/​foyer
  • Garage
  • Home office
  • Mas­ter bedroom
  • Din­ing room or break­fast nook
  • Exte­ri­or structures
  • Out­door liv­ing areas
  • Laun­dry room, mud­room, util­i­ty room or sunroom
  • Guest or sec­ondary bathroom/​powder room
  • Guest bedroom/​other bedrooms
  • Yard, gar­den or landscape

Where Q2 2023 Planned Spend Is Above $500

  • Home exte­ri­or shell
  • Liv­ing room, den or fam­i­ly room
  • Base­ment or attic
  • Mas­ter or pri­ma­ry bathroom
  • Kitchen
  • Whole-home mechan­ics
Changes in Homeowners' Planned Project Spend

View the full info­graph­ic cov­er­ing Changes in Home­own­er’s Planned Home Improve­ment Project Spend for Q2 of 2023.

Homeowner Trends in Hiring Professional Contractors

Accord­ing to the May 2023 results of the Month­ly Track­er, 1 in 4 home­own­ers are intend­ing to hire a pro­fes­sion­al con­trac­tor in the next 30 days to com­plete a home improve­ment, repair and main­te­nance, or ser­vice project at their home.

May2023 Homeowner Intent to Hire a Pro

Results also con­tin­ue to indi­cate that cost can be a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge, and can deter home­own­ers from hir­ing pro­fes­sion­al help with their home improve­ment projects. Sec­ond to cost (53%) is the chal­lenge of not hav­ing enough project knowl­edge (21%).

Align­ing with these find­ings are that, for those who ulti­mate­ly opt­ed to DIY their recent home improve­ment projects, cost was the num­ber one rea­son they chose not to hire a pro­fes­sion­al con­trac­tor. The sec­ond rea­son was that they pos­sessed the abil­i­ty to com­plete the project themselves. 

May 2023 Homeowner Challenges

To increase sales of build­ing prod­ucts dur­ing sea­sons of tighter bud­gets, retail­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers should con­tin­ue to sup­port DIY­ers with deals and resources to do the job right.

How retail­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers can sup­port DIY enthusiasts:

  1. Pri­or­i­tize pro­vid­ing resources and edu­ca­tion­al con­tent to help DIY­ers succeed

  2. Pro­vide easy-to-use, high-qual­i­ty tools that get the job done efficiently

Material Pricing Pressures Are Affecting Pros Purchase Behaviors

Results from the pro­fes­sion­al con­trac­tor por­tion of the month­ly track­er indi­cate that although cer­tain chal­lenges such as mate­r­i­al avail­abil­i­ty and delays are becom­ing less per­va­sive, mate­r­i­al cost has become the num­ber one chal­lenge pros face in keep­ing their prices low.

  • 72% of Pro respon­dents report­ed that prod­uct and mate­r­i­al costs have increased in the last 30 days.

  • Rough­ly 30% said they pur­chased a cheap­er brand or prod­uct to mit­i­gate costs.

Stay on Top of Changes in Customer Sentiments and Behaviors

These month­ly track­ers will con­tin­ue to relay home­own­er and Pro cus­tomer sen­ti­ments every month, but you don’t just skim the high­lights — join HIRI for instant access to the full data sets in order to mea­sure indus­try wide sen­ti­ments in com­par­i­son to your com­pa­ny’s inter­nal reports and cus­tom mar­ket research.

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