Generational Insights to Boost Your Home Improvement Business from the Home Improvement Research Institute
- Incidence of homeownership: Baby Boomers, at 71%, boast the highest rate of homeownership. Millennial ownership remains low (36.8%), as they wait longer than their elders to purchase their first home.
- Changing tides: Millennials, however, are gaining speed. Despite a low overall rate of ownership, they accounted for more than one-third of all recent home purchases.
- Online real estate: The Internet is now the predominant search tool for prospective buyers. However, older buyers also still lean on traditional media such as print newspapers.
- Trusted advice: Compared to older generations, millennials are much more likely to reach out to friends and family for home-buying advice.
- Home improvement spending: From 2016 to 2018, spending on home improvement projects increased for more than 20% of homeowners. This is most true for Millennials (57% are spending more).
- Older homes: All generations are purchasing homes with a median year built of 1998 or earlier. Aging housing stock should correlate with increased home improvement projects, whether for maintenance and repair or cosmetic upgrades.
- Landscaping is king: Of projects completed recently, lawn and landscaping is the most common, followed by interior painting.
- Older homeowners trust the pros: Matures and boomers are quick to hire a professional, likely due to more disposable income and greater savings. Almost half say they hire a pro because the job is too big for them to complete on their own.
It seems every year home improvement trends and decorating styles change. What are the experts saying will be the hot home upgrades for 2019? Not surprisingly, there are a lot of different opinions when it comes to home renovation trends for 2019. But there are 7 trends rooted in solid facts plus 1 big-picture trend that is echoed by a number of interior design experts.
The first 5 trends are according to an October 2018 Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) survey:
1. DIYers are more likely to be Millennials
- Nearly one-quarter of the US population made home improvements in the last year
- Only 7% worked with a professional
2. Over-inspiration is a key factor in home improvement regret
- More than one-third of homeowners who completed a home improvement project regretted not spending more on the project
- FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is influencing the real world of home remodeling projects
3. The rental housing market is on the rise
- Since 2004, a wave of growth has increased the number and share of rental households in the US, especially higher-end rentals in urban areas
- According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 40% of recent additions to the rental stock charge $1,500 or more per month
- This could lead to greater interest in portable home improvement products that tenants can take with them when they move, such as hand-held massaging shower heads and freestanding wine refrigerators
4. Remodeling activity isn’t slowing down anytime soon
- A steady increase in remodeling activity is expected to continue through 2021
- Existing house stock averages 38 years old, ripe for updating
5. With home wellness on the rise, the lighting industry is leading the way
- Tunable lighting that more closely matches natural light shifts throughout the day with the sun
The sixth trend comes from HIRI’s Q4 2018 Project and Sentiment Tracking Survey.
- More than one-quarter of those surveyed indicate they’ll do lawn and garden and/or landscaping projects during this time
- Geography plays a role in home improvement planning
- The Midwest shows year-over-year growth, with a 3% bump over 2017
- The West experienced a dramatic drop, with a 14% decrease compared to Q4 2017
- The Northeast and South have about two-thirds of homeowners planning home improvement projects in Q1 2019
- Less than half of planned projects have a formal budget
- On average, a little more than half of all projects are DIY—many revolve around outdoor living spaces
The seventh trend is from The Mortgage Reports website article on a survey by Chase Home Lending and Pulsenomics about Baby Boomers and aging.
7. More and more older Americans are opting to age in place through home renovations rather than downsize or move into a nursing home or senior community
- Over half of Baby Boomers don’t plan to buy another home again
- Of the 76% of Baby Boomers that own a home, 88% are looking to renovate in the next three years
- The focus will be on the bathroom with things like walk-in showers and lighting upgrades
- On average, those renovations will cost about $18,000.00
Our eighth and final trend is a compilation of insights gained from a number of sources predicting top design trends for 2019.
8. 2019 home trends will include mixed metals, vibrant colors, open spaces and adding more smart home technology
- Shiny accents of gold and copper, mixing different types of metals, incorporating more natural elements with soft and cozy accents
- Ceilings and walls may be painted a single bold color, rather than just one wall with a pop of color
- Fewer, more open cabinets in the kitchen, bigger windows to bring the outdoors in and knocking out walls to create a more open floor plan to maximize living space
- Smart home tech is getting smarter, more useful and more integrated, finally convincing homeowners to take the plunge
Closing the Sale
If homeowners and upscale renters are your customers, these 8 home improvement trends to watch in 2019 can help you understand their needs. And when it comes to providing products that will appeal to these demographics, don’t forget that Petra Industries carries a wide variety of tools and smart home devices sure to please the most discriminating of custom installers as well as DIY consumers.