With many Australians restricted to their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the home improvement and renovation industry is experiencing a significant boost, according to a recent survey of homeowners by Australia’s online bathroom specialist, The Blue Space. The survey reveals that the home renovation market could expect a cash injection of around $52 billion in 2021.*

The study shows that 1 in 3 Australian homeowners (37%) plan on renovating their home in the next 12 months with an average spend of $26,000. The pandemic, which has kept many Australians at home, is also a major contributing factor, with 1 in 4 or 27% inspired to renovate so that they can better enjoy their spaces.

Top reasons for renovating included wanting to refresh an old or outdated room (45%), wanting to add more value to the home (38%), and having a growing family (11%).

Additionally, the Australian ‘wanderlust’ is being replaced by ‘house-goals’ with 2020 restricting the luxury of travel. A significant number of Australians (71%) will be spending a part of their vacation money on their home.

“We’ve seen a great deal of change occur over the past year and people are now focused on finding ways to make the most of the current situation. We’re seeing people utilise their homes in new ways that allow them to enjoy the change to a lifestyle where regular travel and holidays are not as available,” said Josh Mammoliti, managing director at The Blue Space.

The kitchen continues to be the most popular room to renovate** with 35% planning an average spend of $25k, followed by the bathroom with 33% (average spend of $18k), bedroom (26%), living room (25%) and alfresco areas (25%). 

“The bathroom has always been a very personal place, and with people spending more time in their homes than ever before, it’s no wonder that upgrading and renovating this space is close to the top of the to-do list. 60% of Australians ranked the bathroom in the top three rooms that influence their purchase decision when buying a new home, which also reveals why creating an inviting and modern bathroom space is so important,” Mammoliti explained.

With 2020’s events having impacted consumer shopping behaviour, many of these potential renovators will be shopping online. According to the survey, 1 in 4 Australians (26%) are more likely to buy products online than a year ago.

Mammoliti says the online renovation experience is here to stay with The Blue Space website experiencing a threefold increase in traffic and enquiries compared with last year.

“As an online bathroom retailer, it’s been interesting to see how the change from the traditional renovation process of driving from showroom to showroom, to now renovating online has really surprised people! It’s just so much easier and less stressful. When retailers are able to provide quality customer service, a diverse product range, and great online experience, everyone wins.” 

Research methods

Commissioned by The Blue Space, the research was conducted by 3Gem Market Research, with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 Australian homeowners surveyed about their attitudes as well as plans to renovate in 2020 and 2021. The research was conducted between 28 October and 1 November 2020.

*“Home ownership and housing tenure”, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, August 7, 2020, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/home-ownership-and-housing-tenure

**“2019 Australia Houzz & Home Renovation Trends Study”, Houzz, August 27, 2019, https://www.houzz.com.au/magazine/2019-australia-houzz-and-home-renovation-trends-study-stsetivw-vs~125480759