Aussie homeowners to favour smaller fix ups over larger renovations. Image: Canva.
  • 30% of Aussie homeowners to spend at least $10,000 on home improvements this year
  • Interest in large scale home renovations has diminished due to cost of living crisis
  • 40% of homeowners have attempted DIY repairs and renovations to save money

A new report from hipages has revealed that despite the cost of living crisis, Australian homeowners are still looking to invest in their homes, with 30% of homeowners looking at spending above $10,000 over the next six months.

This shows an increase from 2021 when only 23% of homeowners intended to spend above $10,000.

Hipages Chief Customer Officer Stuart Tucker says the home improvement industry will begin to balance due to tradies becoming more accessible as demand decreases slightly.

“Looking at what Aussies have planned this year, there is a bright spot for tradie businesses and homeowners,” he said.

Function over form

The report points to the majority of homeowners (77%) looking to make smaller repairs and maintenance jobs as opposed to extensive renovations. Just over three in five (63%) are looking at interior home improvements, with just over half (53%) considering an exterior home improvement.

But this also marks an increase from 2022, when only 40% of homeowners had repairs that required a tradie’s skill.

Top 5 home improvements desired by Aussie in 2023

Rank Improvement Percentage
1 Painting 58%
2 Odd jobs and general repairs 54%
3 Landscaping and gardening 53%
4 Electrical and lighting 41%
5 Doors and screen doors 35%

Source: hipages.

Figures also showed that the average Australian homeowner is look at spending some $3,000 on home improvement over the next six months, with 3 in five (59%) having completed home improvement in the past fix months, spending an average of $5,704.

Pulling the plug on pools

Large-scale home improvements have largely fallen out of favour, with only 11% looking at adding a pool, 8% to add a granny flat, and 7% to add a second storey.

“Having felt the pinch of increased costs of living and rising interest rates over the past year, and given some Aussies splurged a little on jobs around the home during the COVID lockdown periods, they’re moving away from larger scale renovations and taking a more functional approach to home improvement overall,” Tucker said.

With the intensity of the cost of living putting the kibosh on pricey home improvements, the hipages report reveals homeowners’ reasons for these smaller fix-ups.

  • 49% to increase the enjoyment of their home
  • 34% to update an outdated home
  • 33% to improve the home

On average, homeowners are expected to save $4,195 by making lighter touch-ups as opposed to embarking on more complex projects.

Almost three in four (73%) of Australians are also prioritising renovating over buying a new home or moving house.

Could DIY just kick the can down to the pros?

Homeowners are looking for other ways to ease the burden on their wallets, with 40% attempting DIY repairs and renovations, according to the report.

The majority are younger Australians, at 48%, with only 36% of 50 to 65 year olds giving DIY a crack.

Doing it yourself can end up as a costly error, the report revealed 29% of homeowners admitted they had to avail themselves of a professional after botched home improvement attempts.

The average cost to rectify a DIY error is $4,608, up from $1,500 in 2018.

Marginally more males had to call in a professional to fix up a job at 31%, with females 28%.

By age group, younger homeowners were more likely to call in a tradie at 39% of 30 to 39 year olds, with only 22% of 50 to 65 year olds getting in the professionals.

One in three looking to ditch the home office

While 51% of Australians had set up a home office during Covid, some 40% now say they don’t need it any more.

Not only are droves looking to ditch working from the home office, almost as many are looking to repurpose the space. The report found 32% Australians were looking to do so, with almost one in two (45%) of 30 to 39 year olds looking at repurposing the space.

“Despite inflation and mortgage pressures, Aussie homeowners are still investing in essential maintenance and small home improvements to upgrade, modernise, and increase the enjoyment and value of their home,” Tucker said.

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