While renters aren’t usually viewed as a prime source of business for remodelers, results of a major nationwide survey released today suggests they could be an overlooked source of revenue.
Fifty-two percent of the renters taking part in Houzz.com's third annual Houzz & Home survey said they expect to hire a general contractor for some home job in the next two years, and 17% of the renters said they plan to build a custom home in the next two years. Those numbers come from the 12,000 renters who took part in itspoll after having registered on the online service. All told more, than 135,000 U.S. residents took part in the survey. (See full report.)
Houzz provides ideas and information for people with a predisposition toward building and remodeling, so its findings are unlikely to apply to all 41.9 million rental households. But within this subgroup, renters appear just as interested as homeowners in hiring a contractor to do work in the next two years, and they score 10 points higher on plans to build a custom home. This could partly be the result of the 6.7% increase in rentals between 2010 and 2012 by people aged 35 and over, according to federal statistics analyzed by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. It also might stem from other data in the Houzz poll suggesting that baby boomers and Gen-Xers who own their home today plan to stay in it for the long term rather build a new custom home.
Another finding: “The majority of Houzz homeowners undertaking renovation projects are choosing to do so because they want to stay in their home, not because they can’t afford to move,” Liza Hausman, Houzz’s vice president of community, said in a news release. “Significantly more homeowners on Houzz are able to fund their remodeling projects this year compared with last year, and we see them investing to create a home that meets their needs now and for the long term.”
Those findings jibe with anecdotal information and reports from REMODELING's Big50 members that they are getting more projects that carry larger pricetags. Twenty-six percent of respondents to the Houzz survey said they plan a bathroom remodel or addition in the next two years while 22% plan to do a kitchen remodel or addition.
Houzz members said their top challenges are finding the right products (39%), defining a style (28%), making decisions with a spouse/partner (25%), and educating themselves (22%).
The Houzz & Home Survey was emailed to registered users of Houzz between January and March 2014. Edge Research conducted the survey.