Millennials lead the race to renovate, says Houzz

Millennial homeowners in the UK are active renovators and even keener decorators, a new study has revealed.

The 2016 Houzz and Home survey found that of more than 10,300 UK respondents, more than half (57%) of millennial homeowners (aged 25 to 34) renovated their home in 2015. This was in line with other age groups, with both 35 to 54-year-olds and those 55 and over also at 57%.

However, millennials outpaced older generations when it came to decorating, with 79% of respondents redecorating compared with 71% of those aged 35 to 54 and 68% of those 55 and over.

The top trigger for renovations among this generation was the desire to customise a recently purchased home (41% versus 19% of those aged 35 to 54 and 13% of those aged 55+).

With a desire to stay in their current home, 38% of all UK homeowners are improving instead of moving, with almost a third (30%) choosing the renovation route in order to remain in their current neighbourhood. Twenty-nine per cent chose it because it was a more affordable option and more than a quarter (27%) because they thought it would provide a better return on investment (27%).

With millennials, however, only 39% were motivated to renovate rather than move by a better return on investment and even fewer (35%) quoted affordability. The top reason (41%) given was the desire for a personalised home that would fit their vision of what a home should be.

Top projects for renovators included bathrooms (32%), living rooms (29%) and kitchens (28%). Updating an outdated or undesirable design or style was the top issue addressed in bathrooms (53%), kitchens (44%) and other interior room renovations (42%).

When it came to a budget, more than a quarter (29%) took on a renovation project without setting a budget and nearly a third (32%) exceeded their established budget.

The top ‘budget-buster’ was the decision to opt for more upscale products and materials (48%). This was followed by the project being more complex than expected (37%) and products and services being more costly than anticipated (37%).

Average spend on home improvements in 2015 was £42,700, with homeowners aged 55 and over spending significantly more than millennials – £40,000 versus £28,500.

Homeowners spent on average £16,880 on major renovations of a larger kitchen (150sq ft or more) and £10,420 on smaller kitchens.

The average spend on major renovations of master bathrooms in 2015 was £9,640 on those measuring 50sq ft or more and £6,120 on those smaller than that.

The majority of homeowners (85%) financed their renovations with personal savings, followed by credit cards and cash from home mortgage refinancing (both at 14%).

More than nine-in-10 homeowners (92%) hired a professional when undertaking a renovation, as did 93% of those aged 35-54 and 55 plus (93%), compared with just 90% of millennials.

Almost a third of homeowners who hired a professional for their renovations enlisted the help of a builder (31%), while 24% hired a kitchen designer and fitter and 22% employed an architect.

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