A recent NOW FINANCE survey revealed that 1 in 6 Australians are not happy with their homes, having home renovations on their personal wish list but being unable to currently afford to undertake any improvement projects.

Australia Loves Home Improvements

While Australia may lag behind the rest of the world in some areas, when it comes to home improvements we’re a country that’s a global leader.

With an estimated 93,000 active personal loans being used for home renovations according to Roy Morgan, we decided to take a look at some of the other statistics underpinning Australia’s love affair with home renovations, and point you in the direction of some inspiration if you’re one of the 1 in 6 that aren’t happy with your property.

Australia’s Love Affair with Home Improvements By Numbers

According to Lifehacker:

  • Australia’s home improvement market is worth a staggering $43billion per year. In the next 10 years the value of the market is projected to pass $50billion annually.
  • Since 2010, annual spending on home renovations in Australia has increased 147%.
  • Australia has more home improvement stores per million of its population than both the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • 89% of Australians agree that investing in home renovations is a great strategy for increasing the overall value of their property.
  • Given $15,000 to spend on home improvements or a holiday, 72% of Australians said they’d rather spend the money on home improvements.

The last statistic there is notable, as during our survey almost 1 in 2 people had a holiday on their wish list in comparison to the 1 in 6 figure for home improvements. Have people now already invested in their home renovations and feel it is now time to take a holiday?

Which States Invest Most in Home Renovations?

Comparing Roy Morgan data with our own in-house studies here at NOW FINANCE provide an interesting comparison when it comes to where home renovations seem to be most popular from the perspective of using personal loans to fund them.

Whereas Roy Morgan places New South Wales (including ACT) as the most popular destination for home renovation loans, with over a third of the market (33.4%) ahead of Victoria on 22.9%, here at NOW FINANCE Western Australia is easily the most popular state for home improvement loans, with 34% of the market ahead of Queensland on 22%.

Interestingly, Lifehacker found that the Top 10 neighbourhoods in terms of the value of properties renovated were all in Victoria and New South Wales. However, it should be noted that as all these neighbourhoods are in or on the outskirts of Melbourne and Sydney, the house prices here – as we looked at in a recent article – are already higher. It probably isn’t the case that renovating an already high value home then provides a bigger value increase in your property.

What Home Improvements are People Investing In?

According to the Houzz and Home Australia Report in 2015, the majority of home renovations being conducted in Australia are elective projects rather than those conducted out of necessity, such as structural repairs.

The report also notes that the most popular renovations were for outdoor projects, though the percentage breakdown of home renovations indicates that when Australians invest in home renovations, they’re investing in more than one project at a time. According to the report, in 2014:

  • 71% of home renovation projects were for outdoor projects.
  • 63% of home renovation projects were for the interior of the property, including decorating and investing in new furniture.
  • 49% of projects were upgrades to the exterior structure of the property, including extensions.

What are the Most Popular Types of Home Improvements?

Decking and Fencing

We value our outdoor spaces here in Australia, and it’s perhaps no surprise that the most popular improvement is to install or upgrade patios, terraces and decking. Improvements to fencing, the addition of a pergola, and small landscaping projects are also popular renovation projects.

The improvement or installation of decking, terracing, and patios is a great way to give yourself extra living space without needing to build an extension. In the summer it becomes an extra room, it just happens to be outdoors! These are also among the most affordable improvements, with Seeking Service noting a range of $2,000 – $9,000 for these projects.

Moving Indoors

When we think about indoor improvements we usually think about getting our kitchen or bathroom refitted, or combining a decking project with the installation of new windows or doors to allow light into the home and give us easy access to our new outdoor space.

Yet, the Houzz and Home report notes that upgrades to the living room are most popular, with 23% of home improvements being made to this space. Kitchen and bathroom refittings then followed, with 21% of projects being for kitchen improvement projects, and 15% focusing on the bathroom.

Seeking Service does not provide a cost estimate for living room improvements – as projects could range from a full renovation to simply buying a new sofa and television – but places the cost of a kitchen renovation at $14,000 – $18,000, and a bathroom refit at $10,000 – $13,000.

If You Want to Improve Your Home, Why Wait?

If you’re one of the 1 in 6 Australians with home improvements on their wish list, why wait until you have saved enough money up to cover the cost? We all know you only end up spending your savings on unexpected expenses and emergencies anyway. Instead, NOW FINANCE may be able to help you with a home renovation loan, whether you need to borrow $5,000 for a small renovation project or as much as $40,000 to give your home a complete overhaul.

To get started you can get your interest rate before you apply, and after spending 10 minutes to complete our online application you could be well on the way to achieving those dream home renovations that will both improve your lifestyle as well as increase the value of your property.

Disclaimer:  This article contains general comments and recommendations only. This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before taking any action you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.



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