New Year’s resolutions for homeowners might include completing various upgrades to their living spaces. And like most resolutions, items on the renovation wish list are popular and predictable.
The top five projects Philadelphia homeowners are planning for 2022 are kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, landscaping, interior painting, and exterior painting, according to research by Zillow and Realm, an online platform of home data and insights.
Nationwide, nearly three in four homeowners will consider at least one home improvement project in 2022. That number surprised researchers at Zillow.
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“We think 2022 is going to be the year of the renovation,” said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert. Homeowners can build equity while making their homes more livable and functional, she said.
Kitchen and bathroom renovations are in the top five anticipated projects in cities across the country.
“Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, that’s what we’ve always heard,” Pendleton said. As places for entertainment, nourishment, and relaxation, “these spaces took on additional importance during the pandemic.”
Bathroom remodels are the most popular, with more than half of surveyed homeowners saying they would consider this type of renovation. Many buyers are willing to pay a bit more for homes that have spa-like features such as “curbless” showers, heated floors, and free-standing bathtubs. The average cost of a bathroom remodel is about $13,400, according to Angi, the home services platform formerly known as Angie’s List.
Over the last couple of decades, main bathrooms have become retreats, and homeowners have become more willing to spend money to buy nice fixtures, steam showers, and lighted mirrors, thanks in part to luxurious hotel experiences, said a spokesperson for the National Kitchen and Bath Association, a trade organization representing 50,000 members of the construction, design, and retail industries who specialize in kitchens and bathrooms.
Zillow found that 46% of surveyed homeowners would consider remodeling their kitchens in 2022. Luxury kitchen features have become even more popular during the pandemic as homeowners cook more often. Homeowners are including more storage, such as walk-in pantries, and wealthy owners are adding a second kitchen, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. The average cost of a kitchen remodel is about $35,300.
The three other renovation projects in Philadelphians’ top five for 2022 — landscaping and interior and exterior painting — are popular because they are relatively more affordable and can change the whole look of a home, according to Angi.
In nearly all of the 35 cities Realm examined, landscaping is a top priority for projects this year. The average cost of landscaping is about $2,400, according to Angi.
Interior and exterior painting ranked as a priority for 2022 in 17% of cities Realm studied. The average cost for interior painting is $2,000 and exterior painting is $3,300, according to Angi.
Renovations with the highest return on investment for homeowners add living space, including conversions and additions that don’t change the original structure of the house, according to Realm.
Nationwide, the projects at the top of homeowners’ lists include adding or improving office space, finishing a basement or attic, and adding a guest house or accessory dwelling unit — such as an in-law suite, according to Zillow survey data.
Especially in high-cost and dense metropolitan areas, square footage is at a premium. And spending more time at home during the pandemic has made households want to spread out, use home gyms, and create spaces for schooling and working from home.
“Space is king right now,” Pendleton said, “and that’s what we’re seeing in these results.”