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17 October 2019
Houzz Survey Finds Growth in Kitchen Renovation Spend
Renovation activity driven by older generations; Homeowners integrate smart technology

Spend on kitchen renovations, the most popular room to renovate, grew by 67 percent in the past year to a median spend of $25,000, according to the annual Houzz & Home New Zealand survey of nearly 1,800 respondents in New Zealand.

Overall, renovation activity remained strong through 2018 with nearly half of homeowners on Houzz renovating (48 percent) an average of three rooms per project, at an overall median spend of $22,000. Baby Boomers (ages 55-74) and Gen Xers (ages 40-54) combined represent nearly nine in ten of the renovation activity (85 percent), at a median spend of $20,000 and $25,000 respectively. Similar to expectations from previous years, 42 percent of renovating homeowners planned to continue or begin renovations this year, with 36 and 44 percent of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, respectively, anticipating new projects.

"Despite a number of headwinds for the global and national economy, renovation activity continued to keep pace in 2018 and will likely experience a robust growth in 2019,” said Nino Sitchinava, Ph.D., Houzz principal economist. “Pent up demand continues to drive renovation activity, while spend on discretionary projects such as kitchens continues to grow, signaling strength in consumer confidence."

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.

Funding Renovation Projects
The majority of renovating homeowners pay for renovations using cash from savings (77 percent), followed at a distance by credit cards that can be used anywhere (20 percent) and cash from home mortgage refinance (16%). Interestingly, Gen Xers are most reliant on credit cards, followed by Millennials and Baby Boomers (24 versus 20 and 18 percent, respectively).

Finding the Right Professional for the Job
Nine in 10 renovating homeowners hired a professional in 2018 (90 percent), with electricians, plumbers and carpenters in greatest demand (61, 54 and 36 percent, respectively). Millennials are more likely to hire professional followed by Baby Boomers and Gen Xers (100 versus 93 and 82, respectively).

Making “Smart” Decisions
One in ten homeowners prioritise smart technology during home renovations (9 percent), purchasing products like home assistants, streaming media players and thermostats. Baby boomers are more likely than Gen Xers or Millennials to rank smart technology as a high priority (8 percent versus 6 and 3 percent, respectively).

Improving Energy Efficiency
While improving the design and functionality of a home are the top priorities during renovations, two in five homeowners prioritise energy efficiency (43 percent), replacing windows and insulation, for example. This is particularly important for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers when compared to Millennials (48 and 41 percent versus 30 percent, respectively).

The Final Touch
The majority of renovating homeowners in 2018 also decorated or furnished their home the same year (65 percent). Millennials were significantly more likely to decorate following home renovations than Baby Boomers (79 versus 60 percent).

The Houzz & Home Survey
The annual Houzz & Home survey is the largest survey of residential renovating, building and decorating activity published. The survey covers a wide range of renovation projects in 2018, from interior renovations and additions to home systems, exterior upgrades and outdoor projects. Data gathered includes historical and planned spends, professional involvement, motivations and challenges behind building, renovation and decorating projects, as well as planned activities for 2019. The 2019 study includes nearly 1,800 respondents in New Zealand alone, providing insights into the home improvement activity of the more than 40 million monthly unique users of the Houzz site and mobile apps.

The Houzz & Home Survey was sent to registered users of Houzz NZ and fielded in April 2019.

Houzz has over 19 million photos of professionally designed interiors and exteriors, including completed kitchen and bathroom projects, and more than 2.4 million active home renovation and design professionals including architects, interior designers, home builders and design-build firms.

About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, find products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz is a registered trademark of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit