2020 State of Home Spending: The Year of the Home

by Mischa Fisher, Chief Economist | November 2020

Key Takeaways

  • HomeAdvisor’s new 2020 State of Home Spending report is now available
  • Spending increased across the board for improvement, maintenance, and repair driven in part by rising labor and supply costs
  • Millennials are highest average spenders on home improvement, spending nearly $10,000 on home improvement projects this year

 How much more time did we spend at home as a result of COVID-19? How did this change the needs of our homes in terms of work, childcare, health, cooking, and recreation? And how did all these new needs impact overall spending?

Our annual State of Home Spending report for 2020 answers these questions, in addition to looking at unique preferences of each generation, the top projects being completed, and other new aspects of home spending.

This year, we found, in our annual survey, the average home services spending for households who took on projects rose to $13,138, an increase over last year’s survey results, where homeowners who did projects spent $9,081 on average.

This year’s topline growth in spending and projects is a story of increasing costs of supplies, increasing cost of labor and homeowners shifting spending from things like entertainment and travel to their homes. While the cost to do projects compared to last year did increase, we also found that homeowners were spending more as well. The acceleration of home buying this year and underlying drivers of consumer spending like shifting demographics, baby boomers renovating to age-in-place, millennials changing needs to raise their growing families, a greater cultural focus on home design and home entertainment, an aging housing stock and a shortage of new home construction – among many other fundamental factors –  were already resulting in more spending on home improvement, home maintenance, and home emergency repair and also continued this year.

Millennials are spending the most on home improvement projects this year. On average, millennial households spend or plan on spending nearly $10,000 on home improvement projects this year. Homeownership rates for millennials have jumped significantly, especially as COVID-19 has reemphasized the importance of the home and many companies move to flexible work location options. Millennials are not only rapidly becoming homeowners, but they are also spending more on home improvement than any other generation when they do.

The full report contains dozens of new insights. You can view it at  HomeAdvisor’s State of Home Spending page.

It’s important we remember the most significant part of understanding the impact of COVID-19 is the human toll. Compassion and empathy for those afflicted should always be front of mind, and never be substituted for financial or economic analysis.