More owners in the US intending to improve their properties this summer, survey shows

More owners in the United States are choosing to stay in their properties and invest in home improvements due to tight inventory and the fact that more than 25% nationwide are underwater on their mortgages.

To make the most of their current situation some 60% of home owners plan to make a home improvement or addition this summer, according to the Zillow Digs Summer Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey.

‘As we head into the long days of summer, we are seeing increased interest in outdoor spaces with very natural elements such as stone fireplaces, as well as bringing more light into bathrooms with clear glass on the walls and shower enclosures,’ said Cynthia Nowak, Zillow Digs trend expert.

Home improvement projects and spending varies by age and circumstances, the research has found. Younger home owners and those with children are significantly more likely to be planning a home improvement or addition this summer. Some 71% of 18 to 34 year olds said they would, 61% of 35 to 54 year olds and 51% of those aged 55 and over.

The research also found that 65% of home owners with children are planning improvements and 57% of home owners without children.

Home owners plan to spend a median of $1,200 on summer home improvement projects. Home owners with children as well as home owners aged 54 and younger plan to spend $1,500 compared to home owners without children and those aged 55 and older allocating $1,000.

The survey found that some of the most popular summer home improvement projects are outdoor spaces with 40% set to choose this option while 17% plan to update their bathroom.

Younger respondents and homes with children are significantly more likely to be planning three or more home improvements this summer.

Trends this summer are expected to include a very natural look for outdoor spaces. Instead of infinity pools and sleek modern decks with well appointed outdoor kitchens, this summer people prefer camp like settings that use a lot of stone, particularly stone fireplaces. People want to be comfortable but also that they are in a very natural setting.

Open and light bathrooms are also trending and frosted glass is out. Without shower curtains, many home owners and designers take advantage of the free wall space to showcase beautiful glass tiles.
The survey also looked at the top sources of ideas and inspiration for home improvement and found online sources are the most popular at 37% overall, with more than half, some 53%, of younger home owners and 50% of homes with children finding inspiration online.