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Recent Home Buyers Spend More on Home Improvements

A new study by the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) found that 66% of new home owners undertake at least one improvement project on their home and almost half of existing home owners do a project to ready it for sale, with home projects on average costing $2,576.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., HIRI is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on trends and economic forecasting for the home improvement industry and a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry – The Supplier 100 of NAHB.
Based on a survey in March of 600 new home buyers and 600 purchasers of existing homes, findings of the proprietary study were released earlier this month at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.
Among the institute’s research findings:
• Recent home buyers are an important segment of the home improvement market, and they are motivated to buy because they are renters who want to own a home of their own (22%), they are relocating to a new job (18%), they are upgrading to a new home (16%) or they are downsizing, a growing trend.
• Households who have recently moved spend more on improving their homes. Home owners who have lived in their homes two years or less spend an average $2,300 annually, compared to $2,000 for those who have been in the home three to five years and $1,700 for those who have owned the home for more than 10 years.
• Of the 57% of respondents who said they were planning a project for the next year or two, landscaping is the top project by new home buyers, followed by a deck or patio; and kitchen, bath and landscaping are the key areas for improvement for buyers of existing homes.
• Of those who make improvements in preparation for a sale, 61% undertake the project before the home is listed, 24% after but before they receive an offer from a buyer and 12% after an offer is made. Kitchen, baths and bedrooms are the most popular rooms and painting and flooring are the leading major activities.
• Most home owners do the work themselves, but buyers of new homes are more likely to use a professional for work on their current home. Households choose professionals because of the size of the job and to ensure that it comes our right.
• People who buy new homes want everything new, perceive that they are getting better value, appreciate the ability to customize and find that the existing home stock doesn’t offer what they are looking for.
• Households who purchase an existing home perceive that they are getting a better value (although this share is down significantly from a similar survey in 2004), like the neighborhood, find that the selection is better and prefer the style.
• Men lead in initiating improvement projects for a home that is being sold, while women lead in deciding to start projects for the current home, although projects are increasingly being initiated jointly. Women, however, have more of an eye on future projects.
Information from the study is used by manufacturers, retailers, wholesales and allied organizations in the home improvement industry to make decisions about their businesses.
This feature is solely for educational and informational purposes. Nothing on this page should be construed as policy, an endorsement, warranty or guaranty by the National Association of Home Builders of the featured product or the product manufacturer. The National Association of Home Builders expressly disclaims any responsibility for any damages arising from the use, application or reliance on any information contained on this page.

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