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More Than Half of Homeowners Have Made Home Improvements During Pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced millions of Americans to spend more time at home, has led to a surge of homeowners investing in ways to improve or upgrade their surroundings.

Home insurance group Hippo found that 66% of U.S. homeowners spent more than $1,000 on home improvements and repairs in the past year. With the end of the crisis on the horizon, the survey revealed that many homeowners aren’t finished upgrading their spaces.

Making the most of staying at home

While 16 million people have moved into new, larger residences in the past year, many of those who stayed put have invested in their current properties. Hippo’s survey found that 54% of homeowners reported making home improvements in the past year.

As dining out, travel and other leisure activities came to a halt or were met with restrictions, it’s not surprising that homeowners took it upon themselves to try to make up for some of those lost experiences in their own residences.

Respondents named the backyard as the most popular area where they made improvements, followed by:

  • Kitchen
  • Home office
  • Home gym

Additionally, many homeowners said they’re not done yet. In fact, 71% of homeowners report they’ll continue making the same amount of home improvements as they did over the past year.

More care, without added protection

Despite these new additions and improvements (along with 76% of homeowners believing they’ve become more proactive in taking care of their home in the past year), many have not taken the extra step to protect these assets.

Only 40% of homeowners reported updating their home insurance policies. Though not everyone who reported home improvements would necessarily need added protections, it’s notable that so many fewer homeowners sought more protection than the percentage who may have added value through improvements.

Younger homeowners appear to be the most interested in protecting their investments, with 55% who reported a change to their home insurance policies being 25 to 44 years old. It’s plausible the younger homeowners feel a greater sense of urgency in protecting what might be a more recent home purchase (and a longer mortgage) compared to more seasoned homeowners.

Side projects could lead to side hustles

While plenty of consumers may have picked up a new hobby during the pandemic, not everyone would dedicate a room in their home or an improvement project to that activity.

Those ages 25 to 44, however, are a different story, with a whopping 75% saying that completing a home improvement project has enabled them to take a personal hobby to the next level.

Whether that meant installing a new oven for the best sourdough loaf or turning a home office into a recording studio, many have invested in creative spaces to improve their skills or perhaps turn them into a lucrative side hustle. As many workers left the office last year and continue to work from home, a place for productivity has become an increasingly necessary home asset.

Methodology: Palo Alto, Calif.,-based Hippo surveyed 1,000 U.S. homeowners through AYTM (Ask Your Target Market) from Feb. 12-17, 2021.