Americans are on the move. Fifteen percent of Americans, or approximately 35 million people, expect to move in 2013, a 50 percent increase from last year. Of these, 43 percent plan to purchase a new home, condo or apartment, while 47 percent will rent. Moving or not, the vast majority (72 percent) of Americans have at least one home improvement project on their to-do list this year, expecting to spend an average of $4,000.
A Seller’s Market
Overall, homeowners are more optimistic about the real estate market, with 57 percent feeling confident they could sell their home for their asking price today, a 36 percent increase from 2012.
Nearly half of consumers (45 percent) think the best time to buy is within the next six months. To speed up the process, most homeowners (70 percent) say they’re willing to make certain concessions to sweeten the home buying deal, a trend that’s increased 13 percent since 2011. Concessions include: throwing in appliances (46 percent), making requested repairs (32 percent) as well as paying closing costs (18 percent, up 64 percent since 2011).
Before concessions can be agreed upon, sellers will woo potential buyers by putting their house’s “best foot” forward. The most important fixes and upgrades, according to consumers include: making small repairs, like leaky faucets and damaged plaster (69 percent), organizing and de-cluttering (66 percent), painting (63 percent), improving landscaping (49 percent), updating bathrooms (33 percent), replacing out-of-date appliances (24 percent) and hiring professionals to stage or clean (23 percent).
Not everyone is packing up and moving; 25 percent of Americans are looking to take advantage of low interest rates to re-finance. Among them, 38 percent will use their refinancing savings to pay down debt and bills, 23 percent will put the extra cash in a piggy bank and 12 percent will put the money toward home improvement projects.
House Call: Upgrades Add Value
Whether selling or staying put, consumers say they’ll spend an average of 14 percent more on home improvement projects this year than last. Seventy-two percent of Americans, on par with last year, will spend an average of $4,000 on fixing and sprucing up their homes.
“Consumers are investing in their homes this year across nearly every category from DIY to new home furnishings,” said David Rabkin, SVP U.S. Consumer Lending Products, American Express. “Whether they’re redoing one room or the whole house, there is a significant bump in spending that should bode well for many merchants.”
Homeowners plan to spend an average of $4,000 this year, up from $3,500 in 2012:
• 62 percent have plans to purchase new home accessories or furniture.
• 63 percent are remodeling their interiors, spending an average of $3,300.
• 39 percent are remodeling outdoors or landscaping, spending an average of $1,800.
• 39 percent are re-doing a single room, spending an average of $2,900, and,
• 33 percent are updating their appliances, spending an average of $1,033.
Source: American Express
Published with permission from RISMedia.