Houzz survey says: homeowners playing for keeps

Home remodeling is on the rise.

A new survey from Houzz reveals that homeowners are more keen on remodeling than moving these days, and not always for purely financial reasons.

“The investment that people make in their homes is not only a financial one, it’s also a very emotional one,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Community for Houzz. “Rather than opting to move, the majority of Houzz homeowners undertaking renovation projects are choosing to do so because they want to stay in their home, not because they can’t afford to move. Significantly more homeowners on Houzz are able to fund their remodeling projects this year compared with last year, and we see them investing to create a home that meets their needs now and for the long-term.”

According to the findings, 66% of U.S. homeowners who are currently in the midst of remodeling plan to stay in their homes for the forseeable future. 53% are buffing up their home to increase resale value, but are planning to stay put for at least the next five years. Only 16% plan to sell in the next two.

Admittedly, some of this is due to cautious optimism surrounding the economy. A good chunk -- 74% -- said their local housing market has improved, and fewer are having trouble staying in budget (19% versus 27% in 2013).

However, those reporting significant improvements in the market were more than twice as likely to remodel (42%) than move (16%) in the next two years. A prevailing cause is wanting to move, but deciding remodeling makes more economic sense, and many feel prices are rising too fast to move just yet. High home prices, especially in expensive California markets, are also prohibitive to many would-be buyers.

With eyes on the younger demographic, Houzz found that millennial homeowners are the most likely of the age groups to aspire to move in the next five years. At 36%, they also lead the pack in those remodling to increase home value in preparation for an upcoming move.

Among other findings, bathrooms and kitchens remain the renovation hot-spots, with bathrooms being the more popular undertaking but kitchens receiving the highest share of dollars.

Additionally, paint (45%) was the most likeliest purchase to be made in the next six months, followed by accessories (36%), lighting (35%) and interior furniture (31%).

The findings come from the third annual Houzz & Home survey, which polled over 135,000 U.S. residents and 190,000 total respondents throughout the world.

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