Survey: Home remodeling despite the COVID-19 crisis

Despite the financial and economic hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic, homeowners continue to be excited about improving their living spaces.

A recent survey by private credit company LightStream showed that homeowners are still ready to renovate and remodel their homes amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to LightStream, nearly three in four homeowners (73%) are planning renovations this year – only slightly fewer than in January 2020 (77%).

In fact, homeowners are continuing or expanding projects (57%) at more than double the rate of reducing or canceling them altogether (23%).

As a result of the coronavirus, digital conferences, family video calls, and online happy hours have become an integral part of the new normal. In just four months, Zoom’s daily meeting participants grew from 10 million to over 300 million. With so many people opening their virtual doors to friends, family members, and co-workers, many are re-evaluating their space.

LightStream recently conducted a home improvement pulse survey by Wakefield Research and found that two-thirds of American homeowners have part of their home they just don’t like. Additionally, 64% of those who have ever video called their home were embarrassed to show parts of their home, including the kitchen and bathroom (20% each, and the garage, basement, and outdoor area (16% each)). No wonder for anyone who has worked with children from home: 80% of parents feel this way compared to 55% of nonparents.

Millennials feel cramped at home

After spending most of their time with roommates or loved ones for months, some homeowners indicated that they were willing to socially distance themselves within the home. More than a third (36%) reported a lack of personal space in their home, with Millennials feeling the tightest (62%) compared to Gen Xers (44%) and Baby Boomers (20%). And once again, parents feel the pressure more than non-parents. 57% say they cannot get personal space compared to 25% of nonparents.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown that closed offices, businesses, schools, and more, self-isolation has forced Americans to take a closer look at their homes,” said Todd Nelson, senior vice president of strategic partnerships at LightStream.

Just before summer, almost half of those planning home improvement projects are planning outdoor projects (49%), followed by repairs (35%), bathrooms (33%) and kitchens (32%).

“Many have clearly decided that the renovation remains the right step. And they act accordingly. Those planning large ticket purchases need to set a budget for their project so they don’t overspend, consume emergency savings, or immerse themselves in important long-term financial assets. And if they want to borrow to fund their project, they need to look for lower-rate options like installment loans rather than higher-rate credit cards, ”says Nelson.

This article first appeared in SSI’s sister publication

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