Home Remodeling Out Paces Purchases

By Mike Colpitts
Home remodeling is out-pacing home purchases as homeowners plan on staying put longer than they have in past years, according to a new kitcher re-construction poll by the National Association of Remodeling Industry organization. An over-whelming number of respondents to the poll said they plan on staying in their current homes at least five to 20 years longer than they had planned.

The poll found that 28% of respondents plan on staying one to five years longer in their current homes, 26% an average of 16 to 20 years, 23% six to 10 years, and 10% planned to stay 11 to 15 years longer because home values have decreased so much.

“People are deciding to stick it out for much longer than they had originally planned,” said NARI president Dean Herriges. “This is very telling of what homeowners are experiencing as a result of the recession.”

A new remodeling trend has emerged as a result, with bathrooms and kitchens being the two areas of a home that receive the largest number of upgrades. Homeowners are also opting for more hot tubs, exercise pools, art rooms, yoga studios, dog spas and wine tasting rooms to add to homes.

Another survey by the National Association of Homebuilders released just a week ago also shows home remodeling projects have increased over 2010. Almost half of contractors report seeing an increase in the number of homeowners who undertake remodels to avoid moving compared to 2010. Kitchen and bathroom projects are up 17% over two years ago, with bathroom remodels cited as the most common job by 78% of those surveyed.

“As the priorities of home owners shift, remodelers have to adjust to the needs of their clients,” said NAHB remodelers chairman George Moore Jr. “And while the motivation behind a home owner’s decision to remodel may have changed, their desire for quality professional results have not.”

Repairs and replacements of old appliances, including kitchen stoves, refrigerators, and heating and air conditioning units were cited as the top reasons for customers to hire a contractor. More than 60% of remodelers reported increased demand for repairs and replacements of old components in the last two years. Window and door replacements also ranked high on the list of replacements.