The real estate market in the United States has been on a rebound since the dreaded 2008 recession which is good news for realtors, homeowners and home hunters! In fact, the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index report, published in June by the National Association of Realtors®, found that the real estate climate remained strong in many local markets. Also noted in the report, Realtors are strongly confident about the real estate outlook over the next six months.
However, homebuyers are facing a tight inventory on the market. This is subjecting millennials (ages 25 – 34 years old), the largest portion of homebuyers accounting for 32% of all buyers, to a house hunting challenge. And interestingly enough, millennials make up 68% of first-time homebuyers which shows a generational shift. The reason as to why the market is tight and challenging for homebuyers may be due to the fact that current homeowners are opting to take on home improvement projects rather than selling their house.
Big Boxed Gains
Two national home improvement stores, Lowes and Home Depot, experienced an increase in their stock prices by 40% compared to last year’s numbers according to a recent article from US News. What does this mean? More people are hitting the stores to purchase supplies and materials for home improvement projects. And given the massive jump, home improvement stores took in revenue of $144 billion in 2014 which is safe to assume this year’s profits are expected to be more. But out of all the major chains and over 5,300 stores across the nation, Ace Hardware took the win for the highest customer satisfaction.
What Are Homeowners Improving?
Statistics from a three-year period, 2009 to 2011, show that homeowners spent a total of $359 billion on home improvement projects. These numbers indicate that homeowners are willing to spend a few dollars to improve their houses and the improvement movement is booming; just in 2012, they spent $284 billion. But that’s not all – figures from 2014 were reported at $303 billion and 2015 is expected to exceed $320 billion according to the Home Improvement Research Institute. This begs the question: what projects are homeowners taking on?
For starters, the average amount spent on all home improvement projects came to $3,200 where 57% of owner-occupied housing units made improvements (43.7 million housing units out of 76.1 million). Of those homeowners who decided to take on home improvement projects, 37% were do-it-yourselfers and 63% hired professionals. While there were plenty of renovations that involved various interior updates, approximately 20 million projects that took place were exterior improvements. About 20% of those projects consisted of backyard upgrades such as patios, detached decking, outdoor kitchens, landscaping and more.
More homeowners are turning their backyards into year-round living spaces with things like fire pits, speaker systems, lighting and anything else you can imagine. Outdoor cooking spaces are among the most popular improvements that include high-end grills with grill covers, counters with storage, hidden mini-fridges and covered decking. It’s without a doubt that backyards are no longer that drab space behind your house because homeowners are taking them to the next level.
Not to mention, real estate experts agree that renovating your backyard will be a distinguishing factor if you decide to place it on the market. If two homes are for sale in the same area that are similar in size, the one with the stellar backyard can be expected to sell faster and first.
Are you ready to improve your backyard’s appeal and function with the above trends? Start designing your backyard paradise and let Creative Covers create a custom grill cover to protect your new investment!