We’ve been hearing a lot about the tight housing inventory these days, and according to the Zillow Digs Summer Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey, a factor in that limited inventory could be that homeowners deciding that there is, indeed, no place like the home they’re living in right now. According to the survey, 60 percent of homeowners will make a home improvement or addition to their current home this summer, in many cases lieu of putting that property on the market. “We are seeing increased interest in outdoor spaces…as well as bringing more light into  bathrooms,” noted Zillow trend expert Cynthia Nowak, who credited the long, warm days of summer for this improvement trend[1].

Interestingly, younger homeowners are even more likely than their more cash-flush, older counterparts to be planning home improvements, with 71 percent of 18-34-year-olds intending to improve or add on to their current homes and 61 percent of 35-54-year-olds planning to change their existing properties. Only about half (51 percent) of the 55-and-up age group is planning to undertake a home improvement this year. Younger homeowners also plan to spend more than older homeowners, with the younger two categories planning to spend an average of $1,500 on their home improvement while the older category plans to spend about $1,000 on home improvements[2]. Given that many of these home improvements are likely to be based outside, those homeowners are likely to get a good return on their investments; according to Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value report for 2013, outdoor additions recoup a large percentage of their cost when the home is sold (67 to 77 percent) and add around $10,000 to resale value of the home, depending on the scope and scale of the improvement, of course[3].

by Carole VanSickle

[1] http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news39334/zillow-releases-summer-home-improvement-trend-and-spending-survey

[2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/zillow/2013/06/21/survey-says-60-percent-of-homeowners-will-remodel-this-summer/

[3] http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2013/costvsvalue/national.aspx