NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Strap on the tool belt and grab a power drill. More than half (57%) of homeowners have a home improvement project on their to-do list this year. And we’re not talking minor touchups or a quick coat of paint. More than one-third (36%) of homeowners plan to spend $5,000 or more this year on renovations. And 18% are stepping up and knocking more than $10,000 out of the park to dust off the old home plate, according to a Harris Poll conducted for SunTrust.
The planned projects are near evenly split between home updates (52%) and repairs (49%), with the most popular improvements including:
- Decks, patios and landscaping (43%)
- Bathroom remodels (29%)
- Kitchen updates (26%)
And while in past years tapping a home equity loan was the go-to method to fund such improvements, most consumers (59%) say they’ll raid their savings accounts instead. Other homeowners, buoyed with growing confidence in the economy, will pull out their credit cards (30%). Home equity lines of credit are favored by just 9% of those surveyed, while unsecured home improvement loans will fund the projects for 7% of the respondents.
A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University says we’re entering boom times in home remodeling, with sales approaching $300 billion – the highest level since 2007.
“While homebuilding is many years away from a full recovery, the home improvement industry could easily post record-level spending in 2015,” the report says. Baby Boomers accounted for almost half of all remodeling dollars spent in 2013 but the nation’s largest generation is poised to make an even greater impact, according to the Harvard experts. “The key to future market growth is the Millennial generation," the report said. "While currently lagging previous generations in forming households and buying homes, the Millennials will eventually give a dramatic lift to home improvement spending. More immediately, the growing presence of Millennials in the rental market is encouraging property owners to invest in updates to their units.”