Millennial Homeowners in UK are Active Renovators and Decorators, Houzz Survey Finds

Home renovating and decorating activity among UK Millennial homeowners on Houzz largely driven by the desire to customise a recently acquired home

Millennial homeowners in UK are active home upgraders, according to the 2016 Houzz & Home survey from Houzz, the world’s leading platform for home renovation and design. The survey, of more than 10,300 respondents in the UK and over 225,000 respondents globally, revealed that more than half of UK Millennial homeowners on Houzz (ages 25-34) renovated their home in 2015 (57% versus 57% for those 35-54 and 57% for those 55 and older). In terms of decorating, Millennial homeowners on Houzz are even more active than other generations (79% versus 71% for those 35-54, and 68% for those 55 and older). The top trigger for renovations among this generation was the desire to customise a recently purchased home (41% versus 19% for those 35-54, and 13% for those 55 and older).

“As the largest survey of home renovation, decorating, and building activity published, Houzz & Home provides unprecedented insights into how homeowners are updating their homes, including, increasingly, Millennials,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “While the generation of homeowners between the ages of 24 and 34, still comprise a small share of the homeownership population we’re finding that they are quite active when it comes to home upgrades, and are eager to make their homes their own.”

Nearly two in five of renovating UK homeowners are improving instead of moving due to their desire to stay in their current home (38%). Almost one third choose the renovation route in order to remain in their current neighborhood (30%). Financial considerations such as renovation providing a better return on investment (27%)or being a more affordable option (29%) trail somewhat behind. For Millennials, however, financial considerations are more top of mind –39% cite a better return on investment as the second top reason for renovating versus buying, followed by affordability (35%). More than anything, however, Millennials want a personalised home that fits their vision for what a home should be (41%).

Popular Projects

Renovating homeowners are prioritising projects in their bathrooms (32%), living rooms (29%) and kitchens (28%). Updating an outdated or undesirable design/style is the top issue addressed in UK bathrooms (53%), kitchens (44%) and other interior room renovations (42%). Many homeowners are tackling home systems upgrades including plumbing (43%), electrical (40%) and heating (33%).For exterior upgrades, top projects include updates to windows/skylights (31%), gutters/downspouts (29%) and exterior paint (28%).

Budget? What Budget?

Nearly one-third of renovating homeowners take on a renovation project without setting a budget (29%), and nearly the same share exceed their established budget (32%).These figures are largely consistent across all age groups. The top budget buster is the decision to opt for more upscale products and materials (48%), ahead of the project being more complex than expected (38%) and products/services being more costly than expected (37%). UK homeowners on Houzz spent £42,700 on average in home improvements in 2015, with homeowners age 55 and over spending significantly more on home renovations than Millennial homeowners (£40,000 vs. £28,500, respectively).

When it comes to spending on kitchen renovations, homeowners spent an average of £16,880 on major renovations* of a larger kitchen (150 square feet or more), and £10,420 for major renovations of a smaller kitchen (less than 150 square feet). In terms of master bathrooms, homeowners spent an average of £9,640 on major renovations* of a larger master bathroom in 2015 (50 square feet or more), and £6,120 for major renovations of a smaller master bathroom (less than 50 square feet). In terms of financing, the majority of homeowners continue to use personal savings/finances to fund their renovations (85%), followed by credit cards (14%) and cash from home mortgage refinancing (14%).

A Helping Hand

More than nine in ten homeowners renovate their homes with professional help (92%). Professional hiring is popular across all generations of homeowners, although it is especially high among those age 35-54 (93%, vs. 90% for Millennials and 93% of those 55 and over). Nearly one third of homeowners who hire a professional for their renovations enlist a builder (31%), while 24% hire a kitchen designer and fitter, and 22% hire an architect. Top specialty trades include electricians (66%), plumbers (59%), and carpenters (45%).