INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The emergence of COVID-19 had “far-reaching implications” for housing construction in 2020 as home buyers became increasingly involved in home improvement activities in the first year after purchase and kitchens emerged as the focus of much of the remodeling work, according to a survey by the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI).
According to the survey, the results of which were released last month, 83% of homeowners who bought a home in the past year have completed a home improvement project within their first year of ownership. This is a significant increase from the last time HIRI conducted the same survey. in 2018 when the rate was 70%.
The kitchen (at 33%) was the top renovation target among the 800 homeowners surveyed, with more than a third of the youngest buyers improving their culinary stronghold. Public areas were also the focus of the renovation, with strong growth in areas such as landscaping, patios and living spaces, Indianapolis-based HIRI reported.
According to HIRI, the COVID-19 pandemic with the associated high unemployment and general safety concerns has “relatively positive” effects on home purchases and “longer” on the conversion of residential buildings. Nearly 20% of home buyers surveyed said that COVID ultimately fueled their home purchases from March through September. Interest rate cuts were the main driver of much of the activity, although physical location played an important role in both congestion and proximity to work, HIRI said.
“While beautifying or freshening up the home is still the main reason for doing projects, there has been a marked increase in those who want more space in their home to be more comfortable,” the organization noted. “With many people being withdrawn to their homes during the COVID lockdown, it seems like a priority for many to have more room for housing.”