While it may seem counterintuitive, a recently completed survey by private loan company LightStream has shown that homeowners are still willing to renovate and remodel their homes during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. According to LightStream, nearly three out of four homeowners (73%) are planning renovations this year—down only slightly from the company’s January 2020 Home improvement Trends Survey (77%).
In fact, homeowners are continuing or expanding projects (57%) at more than twice the rate of those who are cutting back or canceling altogether (23%).
As a result of the coronavirus, digital conferencing, 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 jumped from 10 million to more than 300 million. With so many people opening their virtual doors to friends, family and coworkers, many are reevaluating their space.
LightStream recently conducted a home improvement pulse survey through Wakefield Research and found that two-thirds of American homeowners have a part of their house they just don’t like. Additionally, of those who have ever made a video call in their home, 64% have been embarrassed to show parts of their home, including the kitchen and bathroom (each at 20%) and the garage, basement and outdoors (each at 16%). No surprise to anyone who has been working from home with kids: 80% of parents are feeling this way versus 55% of non-parents.
Millennials Starting to Feel Cramped at Home
After months of spending nearly all their time with roommates or loved ones, some homeowners indicated that they are ready for some intra-house social distancing. More than a third (36%) reported a lack of personal space in their home, with Millennials feeling the most cramped (62%) compared to Gen Xers (44%) and Baby Boomers (20%). And once again, parents are feeling the squeeze more than non-parents, with 57% reporting they are unable to get personal space compared to 25% of non-parents.
“As a result of COVID-19 shutdowns that closed offices, businesses, schools and more, self-isolation has forced Americans to take a much closer look at their homes,” says Todd Nelson, senior vice president of strategic partnerships at LightStream.
With summer approaching, nearly half of those planning home improvement projects plan to tackle outdoor projects (49%), followed by home repairs (35%), bathrooms (33%) and kitchens (32%).
“Many have clearly decided that renovation remains the right move. And they’re acting on it. Those planning big ticket purchases must set a budget for their project so that they don’t overspend, deplete emergency savings or dip into important long-term financial assets. And if they’re going to borrow to finance their project, they need to look for lower interest rates options, like installment loans, rather than credit cards with higher interest rates,” says Nelson.