Australian property owners are investing more in their kitchens, as renovation spend for kitchen projects rises by a third.

The latest Houzz & Home Survey revealed that the kitchen remained at the top of the priorities for renovators last year, with the median spend for kitchen projects increasing by 33% to $20,000.

This contributed to the overall rise in home renovation spend, which went up by 5% to a median of $21,000.

Top renovation projects

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

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

  • Reframing and adding of walls
  • Expanding the kitchen's size
  • Replacing all appliances
  • Installing new benchtops, taps, fixtures, cabinets, splashbacks, and sinks

Bathroom renovations were the second top priority for many renovators, with median spend increasing to $15,000.

While many Australians focused their attention on interior room renovations, around three in five property owners also started to overhaul their outdoor spaces.

The top 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 concern, property owners made improvements that are directed towards the grounds, beds and borders, fences, patios, and decks.

Who spends the most on renovations?

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

Gen Xers, who historically scored higher median spend, only recorded 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 overall project spend, which hit $200,000 for the former and $79,000 for the latter.

Around four in five renovators mainly used cash and savings in funding their renovation projects.

Smaller shares of renovators used their credit cards (13%), cash from previous home sale (12%), mortgage refinancing (10%), and gift and inheritance (6%) in financing their projects.

Houzz managing director for Australia and New Zealand Tony Been said with property owners being stuck at home due to the pandemic, a larger share reported that they already had the chance to execute their renovation plans.

"While the pandemic caused initial concern for the residential renovation industry, many homeowners finally had the time and financial means to move forward with long awaited projects in the past year," he said.

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

Around a quarter of property owners thought renovation was a more affordable option instead of finding a home that fits their needs.

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash.