Australian property owners are investing more in their kitchens as kitchen renovation spending rises by a third.

The latest Houzz & Home survey found that the kitchen remained at the top of the list of priorities for remodelers last year, with median spending on kitchen projects rising 33% to $20,000.

This contributed to the overall increase in home renovation spending, which rose 5% to a median of $21,000.

Top renovation projects

For more than half of Australians renovating their kitchens, changing the layout was the top priority.

About 40% of property owners have also upgraded their plumbing and electrical systems, including making changes to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

  • Reframing and adding walls
  • Increase the size of the kitchen
  • Replace all devices
  • Install new countertops, faucets, fixtures, cabinets, backs, and sinks

Bathroom renovations were the second top priority for many innovators, with median spending reaching $15,000.

While many Australians turned their attention to renovating indoor spaces, around three in five property owners also started renovating their outdoor spaces.

The main concern for many of these property owners was the poor layout of these outdoor spaces, making it difficult to work, play or entertain in.

To address this problem, property owners have made improvements targeting the grounds, beds and borders, fences, patios and decks.

Who spends the most on renovations?

Across generations, millennials reported the highest gains in median renovation spending, up 83% to $22,000.

Gen Xers, who have scored higher median spend in the past, only posted a median budget of $20,000.

Baby boomers had a slightly higher median renovation among all generations at $22,600.

Still, Gen Xers beat millennials in terms of the top 10 total project spend, reaching $200,000 for the former and $79,000 for the latter.

About four in five renovators mainly used cash and savings to finance their renovation projects.

Smaller stocks of innovators used their credit cards (13%), cash from previous home sales (12%), mortgage refinancing (10%) and gifts and legacies (6%) to fund their projects.

Tony Been, Houzz director for Australia and New Zealand, said that with property owners sitting at home due to the pandemic, a higher proportion reported they already had a chance to implement their renovation plans.

“While the pandemic caused initial concern for the home renovation industry, last year many homeowners finally had the time and financial resources to move forward with highly anticipated projects,” he said.

“This pent-up demand, along with long-standing market fundamentals, allows homeowners to continue investing in their current homes.”

About a quarter of property owners thought renovation was a more affordable option rather than finding a home that meets their needs.

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash.

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