These Are The Housing Trends of The Future 2023

Top 12 Home Improvement Trends Driving Demand in 2024

Dec 07, 2023

Over the past decade, the hous­ing mar­ket has changed dras­ti­cal­ly to meet demands in a dynam­ic social cli­mate influ­enced be a myr­i­ad of fac­tors, from shift­ing demo­graph­ics and high­ly selec­tive spend­ing habits to a grow­ing pas­sion for issues such as the out­doors, sus­tain­abil­i­ty, and minimalism.

The way peo­ple view the world around them influ­ences and shapes the hous­ing sec­tor and the home improve­ment industry. 

From the emer­gence of eco-friend­ly mate­ri­als and 3D-print­ed tech­nol­o­gy to designs focused on cul­tur­al inspi­ra­tion and reversible archi­tec­ture, the hous­ing mar­ket should con­tin­ue to evolve as the con­sumer mind­set shifts.

Addi­tion­al­ly, there is an increas­ing sense of peo­ple want­i­ng their liv­ing sit­u­a­tions to mean­ing­ful­ly improve after years of neglect, par­tic­u­lar­ly amid an inven­to­ry-lean hous­ing market. 

That’s why our team at the Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute sees these twelve spe­cif­ic trends as dri­vers for home improve­ment activ­i­ties and spend­ing in 2024:

  1. DIY Projects Will Con­tin­ue Dri­ving Sales
  2. Demo­graph­ics are Chang­ing Nationwide
  3. Guest Bath­rooms and Oth­er Spaces Are Get­ting Attention
  4. Influx of Hyper-Local Neighborhoods
  5. A Pull Toward Sim­pli­fied Living
  6. High­er Demand for Home Exte­ri­or Shell Improvements
  7. The Draw of Sus­tain­able Housing
  8. Adop­tion of Smart Tech­nol­o­gy in Homes
  9. Peo­ple are Seek­ing Experiences
  10. Empha­sis on Men­tal Well­ness in the Home
  11. Home­own­ers’ Desire for Main­te­nance-Free Options
  12. Con­sumers are Engag­ing in Selec­tive Splurging

Before we dig into each these 12 trends that will dri­ve home improve­ment in 2024, we must first address how home­own­ers have been behav­ing for the last cou­ple of years.

How are Homeowners Currently Spending on Home Improvements?

In the third quar­ter of 2023, there was a sig­nif­i­cant amount of aes­thet­ic, or fin­ish­ing, projects com­plet­ed, and that’s a telling indi­ca­tion of how home­own­ers feel about their res­i­den­tial spaces, where they are focused on mak­ing improve­ments, and how con­fi­dent they feel invest­ing their resources.

For exam­ple, paint­ing projects were the most com­plet­ed — and the most planned — projects by home­own­ers dur­ing the quar­ter. Paint­ing was the most fre­quent­ly com­plet­ed activ­i­ty in areas such as bed­rooms and din­ing rooms. There was also a high occur­rence of home­own­ers adding or replac­ing land­scap­ing or a gar­den, as well as adding or remov­ing trees and shrubs. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, about 60 per­cent of home­own­ers repaired or replaced floor­ing in their mas­ter bath­room in the third quar­ter of 2023 — com­pared to 42 per­cent in the same quar­ter the year pri­or — and about 52 per­cent com­plet­ed a paint­ing project in the space, mak­ing those the two most fre­quent­ly com­plet­ed activities.

Top Home Improvement Projects Completed in the Last 90 Days

Top Market Forces Driving Home Improvement

As to why there is a con­tin­ued demand for aes­thet­ic, refin­ish­ing, and lifestyle improve­ments: It can be traced to the cur­rent lock-in effect” that’s preva­lent across the nation. That is cou­pled with a dimin­ished hous­ing sup­ply, which is keep­ing peo­ple in their cur­rent homes longer. Mobil­i­ty has been declin­ing for the past 40 years, and 2023 will like­ly be the year with fewest moves and house­hold changes, accord­ing to data from the Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute (HIRI). This is a sig­nif­i­cant demand dri­ver for home improve­ment activities.

Addi­tion­al­ly, dur­ing the hous­ing craze in 2020 and 2021, many first-time home­buy­ers set­tled for a less-than-per­fect match, includ­ing dif­fer­ent aes­thet­ic ele­ments than they desired, in order to acquire some type of res­i­den­tial space. Now, they’re seek­ing out oppor­tu­ni­ties to ren­o­vate and ele­vate their homes to meet their desires and preferences.

Anoth­er indi­ca­tion of this is that con­sumers seem to be more apt to take on home improve­ment projects beyond kitchen remod­els and main bath­room ren­o­va­tions and upgrades — which are his­tor­i­cal­ly some of the most in-demand projects. They are con­sid­er­ing projects that include guest bath­room, mas­ter bed­room, guest bed­room, and din­ing room/​breakfast nook renovations.

Some of the home improve­ment mer­chan­dise lines expect­ed to have the strongest com­pound annu­al growth rate (CAGR) from 2023 to 2027 include elec­tri­cal sup­plies; lawn and gar­den equip­ment and sup­plies; hard- and soft-sur­face floor cov­er­ings; nurs­ery stock and soil treat­ments; roof­ing and sup­plies; and paint sun­dries and oth­er supplies.

Total HIRI Market: Forecasted Growth by Merchandise Line, Top Third

What Trends Will Shape Demand in 2024?

There are cur­rent­ly sev­er­al fac­tors at play that influ­ence demand dri­vers: cul­tur­al, social, and eco­nom­i­cal. They will con­tin­ue to shape the home improve­ment indus­try over the next one to five years. Here’s a high-lev­el break­down of emerg­ing trends and insights that may impact your business.

1. DIY Projects Continue Driving Sales

DIY projects are dri­ving the home improve­ment indus­try for­ward. DIY projects in the third quar­ter of 2023 were high­er than the same quar­ter in 2022 — or 55 per­cent com­pared to 47 per­cent — and projects in which the home­own­er hired a pro­fes­sion­al con­trac­tor were down from 31 per­cent to 28 per­cent. Look­ing for­ward, in terms of planned projects, about 53 per­cent were pro­ject­ed to be DIY com­pared to 44 per­cent in the third quar­ter of 2022.

Key Insight: If home­own­ers con­tin­ue to show this pref­er­ence for attempt­ing projects on their own, you can expect to inter­act more with retail­ers that cater to the indi­vid­ual and not just to indus­try pro­fes­sion­als. Devel­op­ing and mar­ket­ing prod­ucts and mate­ri­als that are intu­itive and easy to use for layper­sons or ama­teur DIY­ers could prove ben­e­fi­cial, espe­cial­ly dur­ing prod­uct line reviews.

DIY vs Pro Completion of Projects, Last 90 Days, Next 90 Days Intent

2. Demographics are Changing Nationwide

Demo­graph­ics are chang­ing across the coun­try. There is a rise in unpart­nered adults and child­less adults, which will con­tin­ue influ­enc­ing the hous­ing mar­ket, name­ly vis­i­ble in the num­ber of households.

Addi­tion­al­ly, a notable num­ber of old­er peo­ple are choos­ing to move back in with their off­spring because of increased hous­ing prices or to help with fam­i­ly care. All of these fac­tors con­tribute to more demand for multi­gen­er­a­tional hous­ing (with­in sin­gle fam­i­ly homes) and a drop in demand for mul­ti-fam­i­ly hous­ing. There’s also an ever-grow­ing inter­est in con­ver­sions and acces­so­ry dwelling units (ADUs) to sup­port multi­gen­er­a­tional housing.

Key Insight: Multi­gen­er­a­tional hous­ing is a pop­u­lar solu­tion for mul­ti­ple aspects of our chang­ing demo­graph­ics along­side the hin­drances of the lock-in” effect. There will be more inter­est in con­vert­ing garages, adding apart­ments, and oth­er ren­o­va­tions that sup­port this type of liv­ing sit­u­a­tion. The impact of this is bright for prod­uct cat­e­gories relat­ed to adding bath­rooms and kitchen spaces to accom­mo­date mul­ti-gen­er­a­tional hous­ing sit­u­a­tions. Addi­tion­al­ly, con­sumers will be look­ing to remod­el their homes to pro­vide bet­ter aging in place for them­selves or fam­i­ly mem­bers. For exam­ple, there’s a ris­ing inter­est in bath­rooms with bet­ter acces­si­bil­i­ty. Man­u­fac­tur­ers and retail­ers must cater to these needs.

3. Guest Bathrooms and Other Spaces Getting Attention

There are indi­ca­tions that guest bath­room projects are increas­ing in pop­u­lar­i­ty. In the third quar­ter of 2023, there was an upward trend in terms of home­own­ers plan­ning paint­ing, floor­ing, and oth­er guest bath­room projects. The medi­an spend for that quar­ter was $700, with a planned spend of $1,000 in Q4. Addi­tion­al­ly, in the third quar­ter of 2023, 61 per­cent of projects involv­ing guest bed­rooms were DIY and 52 per­cent of guest bath­room projects were DIY.

This is data we’ll be observ­ing in sub­se­quent updates to the Quar­ter­ly Home Improve­ment Project Activ­i­ty Track­er, to iden­ti­fy whether these behav­iors con­tin­ue trend­ing up in popularity.

Guest Bathroom Projects Completed in 2023

Key Insight: For a myr­i­ad of rea­sons dri­ven by mar­ket forces and changes in con­sumer sen­ti­ments, home­own­ers con­tin­ue to feel locked into their cur­rent liv­ing sit­u­a­tion, and are show­ing in var­i­ous ways increas­ing inter­est in home improve­ment projects that make their home a bet­ter match for their evolv­ing lifestyle.

4. Influx of Hyper-Local Neighborhoods

Archi­tects, devel­op­ers and local gov­ern­ments are propos­ing neigh­bor­hoods cen­tered on com­mu­ni­ty build­ing and local busi­ness­es, accord­ing to the Future of Hous­ing Trend Report, a col­lab­o­ra­tion between HIRI and Trend Hunter. These spaces are intend­ed to be car-free, with all neces­si­ties reach­able via a short walk or bike ride.

Key Insight: As urban cen­ters expand in size and pop­u­la­tion, con­sumers are rec­og­niz­ing that their qual­i­ty of life is suf­fer­ing — whether that be due to alien­ation, afford­abil­i­ty issues, lengthy com­mutes or pol­lu­tion. As a result, many are mov­ing away from city cen­ters and turn­ing to com­mu­ni­ty-based neigh­bor­hoods. In doing so, these indi­vid­u­als gain a sense of belong­ing, because they can facil­i­tate stronger con­nec­tions with peo­ple near­by while also sat­is­fy­ing the need for convenience.

5. A Pull Toward Simplified Living

Build­ing off of the desire for more sus­tain­able liv­ing, the emer­gence of sim­ple, more min­i­mal­ist design empha­sizes home­own­ers’ chang­ing per­cep­tions about their sta­tion in the world around them. New homes are trend­ing slight­ly small­er in size, which will impact home improve­ment needs 5, 10, 20 years into the future. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, from a well­ness per­spec­tive, peo­ple are increas­ing­ly aware of the ben­e­fits of spend­ing time out­doors. From a prac­ti­cal stand­point, invest­ing in well-designed home improve­ments for out­door spaces can sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase the val­ue of a home for exist­ing home­own­ers nav­i­gat­ing their lim­it­ed choic­es for change due to the lock-in” effect.

Whether dri­ven by a desire to cre­ate a com­fort­able and func­tion­al space for liv­ing, enter­tain­ing and enjoy­ing fresh air, or by the prospect of cre­at­ing a more valu­able home, home­own­ers will con­tin­ue improv­ing their out­door liv­ing spaces for years. Brands can cap­i­tal­ize on this trend by offer­ing a wide vari­ety of out­door prod­ucts or by induc­ing out­door design in their list of services.

As soci­ety evolves, what mat­ters in our homes evolves as well. Learn more about the future of hous­ing by gain­ing full access to this Trend Hunter report, includ­ed with your HIRI mem­ber­ship.

Key Insight: Con­tem­po­rary con­sumers in fast-paced urban cen­ters are look­ing to bal­ance the demands of their dai­ly lifestyle with a com­fort­able home envi­ron­ment. Many are pri­or­i­tiz­ing min­i­mal­ist designs and addi­tion­al indoor and out­door spaces that can opti­mize and ele­vate their liv­ing sit­u­a­tion with­out com­pro­mis­ing aes­thet­ic appeal.

6. Higher Demand for Home Exterior Shell Improvements

Nat­ur­al dis­as­ters caused about $25 bil­lion worth of dam­age in 2023 — an all-time high — and this trend is expect­ed to con­tin­ue. Home­own­ers are tak­ing notice and respond­ing to the height­ened risk of nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, which is why we’re see­ing high­er demand for exte­ri­or shell improve­ments. This is espe­cial­ly sig­nif­i­cant because of the costs asso­ci­at­ed with home exte­ri­or shell projects. 

For exam­ple, in the third quar­ter of 2023, about 9 per­cent of projects includ­ed exte­ri­or shell activ­i­ty, along with 6 per­cent of planned projects. How­ev­er, home­own­ers spent the most mon­ey on home exte­ri­or shell projects in that same quar­ter com­pared to oth­er rooms in their house. The medi­an spend­ing for that 90-day peri­od was rough­ly $2,000 per project.

Key Insight: Home­own­ers want to out­fit their homes to with­stand the risks asso­ci­at­ed with nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, and they’ll spend more than aver­age to invest in these types of projects. Addi­tion­al­ly, this is one area where home­own­ers are less like­ly to do it them­selves, with rough­ly 56 per­cent choos­ing to hire a pro­fes­sion­al to com­plete the work.

7. The Draw of Sustainable Housing

With sus­tain­abil­i­ty as a top pri­or­i­ty, archi­tects and design­ers are embrac­ing dif­fer­ent eco-friend­ly con­cepts. One exam­ple is the adop­tion of reversible design,” which is the archi­tec­ture of struc­tures that can be eas­i­ly decon­struct­ed, that can be reused (ie, repur­posed spaces) or with parts that can be removed and added easily.

3D-print­ed hous­ing is mak­ing the process of design­ing nat­ur­al, dis­as­ter-proof hous­ing eas­i­er. These homes offer sus­tain­able and pro­tec­tive con­struc­tion that avoids struc­tur­al issues in the case of extreme weather.

Key Insight: Con­tem­po­rary con­sumers are wary of being a detri­ment to their envi­ron­ment and are seek­ing ways to be a net pos­i­tive impact where fea­si­ble. As a result, many are demand­ing that brands and cre­ators take sus­tain­abil­i­ty fac­tors into con­sid­er­a­tion. In doing so, these indi­vid­u­als feel more at ease and proud of their advo­ca­cy for a bet­ter future.

8. Adoption of Smart Technology in Homes

The smart home mar­ket is grow­ing with 37 per­cent of all Inter­net-con­nec­t­ed homes hav­ing at least one smart home device. Adop­tion is pre­dict­ed to con­tin­ue to rise as pur­chase inten­tions are at an all-time high. Fur­ther­more, HIRI com­mis­sioned a report from glob­al mar­ket intel­li­gence firm Omdia on behalf of mem­bers that fore­casts the glob­al smart-home mar­ket will exceed $167 bil­lion in 2025 (up from about $58.5 bil­lion in 2020). 

As the mar­ket con­tin­ues to grow at break­neck speed, com­pa­nies are rac­ing to inno­vate home tech­nol­o­gy inte­gra­tions, imag­in­ing what’s next in smart con­trols for light­ing, ener­gy effi­cien­cy and more.

Insight: The appeal of con­nect­ed homes for con­sumers is that they’re able to stream­line and orga­nize day-to-day house­hold tasks and rou­tines. Between work, rais­ing chil­dren, social lives and/​or main­tain­ing per­son­al health and hob­bies, con­sumers are increas­ing­ly turn­ing to brands that make their dai­ly activ­i­ties feel more manageable.

How­ev­er, con­sumers shop­ping for smart-home devices are not only shop­ping to improve their qual­i­ty of life. In cer­tain prod­uct cat­e­gories, smart-home devices have quick­ly become an aid for the resale val­ue of the home. This will mat­ter more dur­ing shifts from a seller’s to buyer’s mar­ket and dur­ing a cool­er hous­ing mar­ket in general.

9. People are Seeking Experiences

Com­ing out of COVID-19, peo­ple have a new appre­ci­a­tion for expe­ri­ences and a thirst to pur­sue them. This is impor­tant to the home improve­ment indus­try because resources are finite and this pur­suit of expe­ri­ences pos­es a big com­pe­ti­tion for con­sumer dol­lars, espe­cial­ly as dis­pos­able incomes are shrink­ing through 2023 and into 2024. Home­own­ers are nav­i­gat­ing deci­sions about whether to spend on trav­el, out-of-home enter­tain­ment, and events or invest toward home repair and ren­o­va­tion projects. 

Insight: Man­u­fac­tur­ers and dis­trib­u­tors should be pre­pared to meet the expe­ri­en­tial econ­o­my” head on through their mar­ket­ing and mes­sag­ing. There is an oppor­tu­ni­ty for indus­try pro­fes­sion­als to com­mu­ni­cate that indi­vid­u­als can cre­ate valu­able expe­ri­ences in the home through enter­tain­ment areas, game rooms, base­ment rec rooms, and out­door areas. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, encour­age them to see the val­ue of ameni­ties that will help them more con­ve­nient­ly enter­tain in their homes. This includes ren­o­va­tions that involve large kitchen islands with seat­ing, bev­er­age sta­tions, pantries, and the like. Those brands that can mar­ket their prod­ucts and ser­vices as part of cul­ti­vat­ing mem­o­rable expe­ri­ences in and around the home will win more of the cus­tomers’ share of wallet.

10. Emphasis on Mental Wellness in the Home 

Anoth­er ongo­ing trend exac­er­bat­ed by the COVID pan­dem­ic is increas­ing lev­els of stress and anx­i­ety – and how peo­ple are search­ing for anti­dotes with­in their liv­ing space. Liza Hauss­man spoke on this top­ic at the 2023 Home Improve­ment Insights Sum­mit, cit­ing that now, 27 per­cent of Amer­i­cans are work entire­ly home, com­pared to just 6 per­cent in 2018. Many more are engaged in some type of hybrid mod­el. But this has some neg­a­tive effects, such as the con­stant pres­sure of mul­ti­task­ing, a dis­rup­tion of work-life bal­ance, and iso­la­tion, which home­own­ers can be primed to coun­ter­act through home improve­ment projects. 

It’s also worth not­ing that home improve­ment projects that involve out­door liv­ing spaces, yards, and land­scapes are the most like­ly to be DIY. In the third quar­ter of 2023, 72 per­cent of home­own­ers did their yard, land­scap­ing, or gar­den project and 63 per­cent tack­led out­door liv­ing spaces. 

Fur­ther, there’s been an increase of indi­vid­u­als search­ing for res­i­den­tial spaces that include saunas, spa-like bath­rooms, yoga rooms, and plunge pools. Con­nect­ing to nature is top of mind for con­sumers, who are inter­est­ed in out­door ter­races, rooftop decks, patios, and sim­i­lar amenities. 

Key Insight: Think about what your cus­tomers need and want to sup­port their men­tal and emo­tion­al well-being in their home and what home improve­ments could make the remote/​hybrid work­mod­el feel bet­ter. This is an oppor­tu­ni­ty for man­u­fac­tur­ers to con­sid­er what prod­ucts they will devel­op and pro­vide to con­sumers to cre­ate bet­ter indoor and out­door spaces at home. Sup­pli­ers should also con­sid­er the breadth of their prod­uct lines that cater to men­tal well­ness in the home.

11. Homeowner’s Desire for Maintenance-Free Options

Accord­ing to HIRI research, home­own­ers report the need to repair or main­tain the house as a pri­ma­ry rea­son for pur­chas­ing many home improve­ment prod­ucts, but when con­sid­er­ing options for the repair, home­own­ers are fac­tor­ing in their busy lives into which prod­ucts they pur­chase, favor­ing low­er main­te­nance options when oth­er fac­tors are constant.

Exam­ples of low-main­te­nance home improve­ment prod­ucts include:

These prod­ucts require min­i­mal upkeep and are designed to last for many years with­out the need for reg­u­lar clean­ing, paint­ing, stain­ing or oth­er main­te­nance tasks.

Insight: Brands offer­ing main­te­nance-free home improve­ment prod­ucts should mar­ket their offer­ings accord­ing to home­own­er val­ues such as con­ve­nience, ease of main­te­nance and cost effectiveness. 

12. Consumers are Engaging in Selective Splurging

Con­sumer con­fi­dence con­tin­ues to strug­gle, although con­sumer sen­ti­ment improved a bit by the third quar­ter of 2023 after drop­ping heav­i­ly at the end of 2021 and through 2022. His­tor­i­cal­ly, when con­sumer con­fi­dence is down, they make few­er pur­chas­es, and when they do spend, they are trad­ing down, chang­ing shop­ping behav­iors, and look­ing for deals the incen­tivize mak­ing the pur­chase now, despite the reser­va­tions they have about the state of the over­all economy.

Consumer Sentiment 2013 through 2023

HIRI data con­tin­ues to cor­rob­o­rates this behav­ioral norm, show­ing that minor and midrange remod­els and repairs have fared bet­ter amid chal­lenges over this past year than major alter­ations and addi­tions, as shared by Dave King and Todd Toma­lak in their pre­sen­ta­tion dur­ing HIRI’s 2023 Home Improve­ment Insights Sum­mit.

Peo­ple are scal­ing back what projects they’re start­ing or set­tling for mod­er­ate­ly sized improve­ments. Home­own­ers feel a lot more con­fi­dent about start­ing a project that’s less than $5,000 than they do about plan­ning a project with a bud­get over $5,000 accord­ing to find­ings in the 2023 Month­ly Home Improve­ment Project Track­er, in part­ner­ship with The Farnsworth Group.

Key Insight: It’s essen­tial for man­u­fac­tur­ers to have clar­i­ty on what con­sti­tutes val­ue” to cus­tomers as they con­tin­ue to trade down and cut back. What attrib­ut­es are so impor­tant to cus­tomers that they won’t com­pro­mise on them? Focus on com­mu­ni­cat­ing val­ue and pri­or­i­tiz­ing the right bal­ance between qual­i­ty and price. 

Capturing Home Improvement Spend in 2024

As soci­ety evolves, what mat­ters in con­sumers’ homes evolves as well. The most impor­tant part of this is for you and your brand to under­stand what trends are shap­ing con­sumer sen­ti­ment, their shop­ping behav­iors, and their home improve­ment activ­i­ties, and then shift­ing busi­ness and mar­ket­ing strate­gies to meet their needs and preferences. 

To dig more deeply into prod­uct cat­e­go­ry and project type spe­cif­ic research, con­sid­er becom­ing a HIRI member. 

The Home Improve­ment Research Insti­tute pro­vides mem­bers access to a wide range of data and insights about cus­tomer behav­iors, chan­nel pref­er­ences, and prod­uct selec­tions to help inform your busi­ness strate­gies and key decision-making.

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