The pandemic elevated the consumer’s interest in taking their living spaces to the next level. Home improvement spending in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2022 has surpassed pre-pandemic results by double digits each of the past three years, according to data from The NPD Group. So far this year, the overall home improvement average selling price has been 10% higher than it was a year ago, and 40% higher than in 2019. Despite elevated prices, consumers continue to spend on various aspects of home improvement – moving between indoors and outdoors, and from room to room.
Consumers take gardening seriously in the summer – lawn and garden sales grow most between April and June. This year, second-quarter unit sales were 250% higher than in the first quarter and demand within the lawn and garden segment for the quarter was similar to last year. Focusing on outdoor activities continues to be a prominent trend for consumers looking for ways to engage with others and safely entertain friends and family. Unit sales of most lawn and garden segments have grown because of this increased seasonal demand.
While there is a natural seasonal progression in the consumption of home improvement products in the U.S. as it relates to outdoor projects, when summer is over, they move indoors. Last year, the need to refresh indoor spaces came to the forefront and interior walls got a fresh, new look in the fall of. The indoor paint and stain segment got a 2021 bump in sales in the third quarter, as did paint sprayers, primers, and other paint-related categories.
After more modestly priced and straightforward spruce-ups, more serious interior updates occurred. Between October and December 2021, year-over-year unit sales grew for sinks (290%), kitchen countertops (161%), and bathtubs and whirlpools (38%).
The substantial attention paid to bath and kitchen remodeling gave way to renewed focus on laundry room spaces – further contributing to fourth quarter growth in 2021. Next-level laundry room solutions became particularly popular in March this year, when month-over-month unit sales of laundry appliances grew by more than 30% for two consecutive months. Year-over-year sales of clothes refreshers also grew by double digits in March.
In 2020, do-it-yourself home improvements came center stage as consumers looked for ways to fill newfound time, enhance their surroundings, or create more welcoming outdoor entertaining spaces. Then, as pandemic concerns began to ease but the financial savings from a year of less travel and activity-related expenses remained, more professional improvement projects came into the mix in 2021. Their needs will continue to evolve as it relates to working from home, entertaining, enjoying new living spaces, or just creating fresh surroundings.
The emphasis on home improvement remains a priority for many consumers who continue to spend more time at home. But in 2022, do-it-yourself projects are poised to pick up again as economic factors increasingly put constraints on the consumer’s wallet. To effectively maximize the enduring appeal of home improvements, marketers need to both understand and help to inspire the next project on the consumer’s punch list.
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