The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University found that the home remodeling market grew by more than 50% since the recession ended in 2009 to more than $424 billion. Nearly 70% of that market value is from homeowners making improvements or repairs to their own homes, as opposed to rental units.
[Related: New remodelers—Meet the homebuyers driving remodeling growth]
Myriad market forces are at work driving the increase in dollars spent on remodeling, according to the Joint Center’s “Improving America’s Housing 2019” report:
- Many homeowners had to delay regular maintenance or repairs during the recession. Now they’re investing in their homes again.
- Increasing housing prices are driving more people to purchase fixer-uppers and make repairs than to purchase new construction, especially younger people buying their first homes.
- People 55 and older, who represent a greater share of homeowners and wealthier people, are investing in upgrades that allow them to stay in their homes rather than downsize.
- More severe natural disasters around the country create an increased need for repairs and renovations following storms.
Danielle Andrus was previously the managing editor for Colorado Builder, and is currently Editor for the Journal of Financial Planning.