Homeowners will still spend on maintenance ‘even in a downturn’

Homeowners will still spend on maintenance ‘even in a downturn’

Americans will continue to spend money on home improvements to care for their houses even as the housing market cools across the nation and the economy slows down, according to one expert.

“Even in a downturn in the economy, we’re still going to see people spending,” Angie Hicks, chief customer officer of ANGI Homeservices, Inc., told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “For most, their home is their largest investment, and they want to take care of it.”

Home improvement spending in 2022 significantly increased compared with 2019, or the pre-pandemic era, according to studies done by ANGI Homeservices, Inc.

Households invested an average of $12,904 on improvement, maintenance, and emergencies to care for homes. Although this was a decrease from 2021, last year recorded an unusually high home spending boom of $15,680 per average household.

The most popular service in 2022 included maintenance projects like interior painting and bathroom remodeling. This pattern shifted from 2021, when many focused on higher-cost projects like swimming pools and landscaping.

“Bigger projects that were more discretionary, quite honestly,” Hicks said, noting homeowners had more savings after 2020, “because they had dollars that they were taking from travel and from other areas, and putting it into their home”

Pandemic changed home spending habits

Homeowners’ primary reason for upgrading their residences had also shifted since the pre-pandemic era.

This past year, 34% of households cited they wanted to “make the home better suited for lifestyle needs,” while 27% said they wanted “to get personal enjoyment out of outdated homes.” In 2019 and prior, most homeowners echoed “return on investment” and other financial reasons as the top priorities for home projects, based on reports released by ANGI Homeservices.

As interest rates remain high and Americans continue to leave the pandemic behind, Hicks believes there will be a slight change in home care spending habits again as suggested by the firm’s recent survey.

“We did ask people about interest rates and inflation,” Hicks said, “and we’re not surprised that 75% of them said that it is impacting how they’re spending their dollars and how they’re thinking about home spending.”

Still, homeowners will make sure their families’ needs are met by continuing to invest in their houses, she said.

“If their family is expanding, they need to finish a basement or they need some extra space,” Hicks explained. “They still need to do it.”

Rebecca is a reporter for Yahoo Finance.

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