Spend on kitchen renovations grew by 16 per cent in the past year to a median spend of $20,000, according to the annual Houzz & Home Australia survey of more than 8800 respondents in Australia.
Reflecting homeowners' thoughts and trends from last year and into 2019, kitchens proved the most popular rooms to renovate, followed by living rooms (26 and 23 per cent, respectively). Bedrooms, bathrooms and laundries were all equally popular this year at 17 per cent.
Baby Boomers (ages 55-74) and Gen Xers (ages 40-54) combined represent more than three quarters of renovation activity (79 per cent), at a median spend of $21,000 and $23,000 respectively. Nearly half of renovating homeowners planned to continue or begin renovations this year (47 per cent), with 41 and 35 per cent of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, respectively, anticipating new projects.
"Pent up demand continues to drive renovation activity, while spend on discretionary projects such as kitchens continues to grow, signaling strength in consumer confidence," said Houzz principal economist, Nino Sitchinava.
As homeowners consider whether to renovate their current home or to purchase a new home, the top two considerations for renovating are to stay in their current home or area, outranking return on investment. Wanting to stay in the current home is the biggest decision driver for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, whereas Millennials (ages 25-39) chose to stay in their current home and renovate because it was more affordable than moving.
The majority of renovating homeowners surveyed paid for renovations using cash from savings (76 per cent), followed at a distance by credit cards that can be used anywhere (19 per cent) and cash from home mortgage refinance (13 per cent).
Nine in ten renovating homeowners hired a professional last year (90 per cent), with electricians, plumbers and carpenters in greatest demand. Baby Boomers were reportedly more likely to hire professional help than Millennials by 10 per cent (93 per cent versus 83 per cent).
Meanwhile, 12 per cent of homeowners prioritise smart technology during home renovations, purchasing products such as home assistants, streaming media players and security cameras. Baby Boomers are more likely than Gen Xers and Millennials to rank smart technology as high priority (15 per cent versus 10 and nine per cent respectively), however Millennials are still incorporating the most home assistants (22 per cent), compared with one in 10 Baby Boomers (11 per cent).