As millions of Americans began spending more time in their homes as a result of the pandemic-related shutdowns, many were forced to confront aspects of their homes they didn't particularly like.
While some addressed the problem by moving to a new place entirely, home insurance company Hippo found in a recent survey that others decided to update their surroundings by taking on new renovation projects. As a result, many homeowners have adopted a more proactive attitude toward caring for what is, in many cases, their biggest financial asset.
Here's what else the Palo Alto, Calif.-based insurance agency found in its recent survey.
More homeowners investing in property renovations and repairs
Many consumers who could afford to move to a new place did so last year, a trend that resulted in the lowest supply of for-sale homes on record. Meanwhile, others saw the lockdowns as an opportunity to give their living arrangements a much-needed facelift.
In fact, Hippo found that 54% of homeowners have updated their space since the pandemic started last year, with the following areas seeing the most changes:
- Home office
- Home gym
Just over half of Hippo's respondents (52%) reported purchasing office equipment like upgraded Wi-Fi and video-conferencing tools due to new work-from-home guidelines. More than a third (35%) revealed that their home improvement budget went toward living room furniture, lighting and decor instead.
And while 66% of homeowners spent over $1,000 in home improvements and repairs since the pandemic began, the number that spent more than $10,000 on these projects jumped from 5% to 10% in the same time span.
The end of the pandemic might not bring an end to spending on home improvements either, as 71% of homeowners reported that they expect to continue their renovation efforts in the future.
Millennials taking charge of their responsibilities as homeowners
Renovations can be exciting projects for homeowners, but many forget to consider the responsibilities that come along with them. Hippo discovered that, while 53% of homeowners have moved forward with remodeling projects in the past year, only 40% updated their home insurance policy afterward. Notably, millennials made up over half (55%) of that group — indicating that they are taking their new responsibilities as homeowners seriously.
This lines up with another finding from Hippo showing that, of the 52% of homeowners who have become more diligent about home maintenance tasks, millennials have been the most proactive, with 64% doing them.
This new generation of homeowners are making the most of these investments, too. Three-fourths (75%) of millennial respondents reported being able to "take a personal hobby to the next level" as a result of their renovation projects. The most popular of these hobbies typically require a dedicated space and specialized equipment — needs that a mid-pandemic home improvement project could easily address. Specifically, these hobbies included:
- Content production for a blog, podcast, etc. (77%)
- Baking (68%)
- Personal fitness (65%)
Methodology: Hippo collected data from 1,000 homeowners in the U.S. who are ages 18-65+ from Feb.12-17, 2021 through AYTM (Ask Your Target Market).