27 August, 2019

Survey shows Kiwis have a keen appetite for renovating

New Zealand is a nation of home improvers, with nearly half of renovators saying it’s important to do up their home to increase its value and sell, according to new research.

The online survey of more than 800 homeowners found that 37% of property owners have undertaken renovations in the past two years, 20% are currently renovating, and 28% are considering renovating in the next 12 months.

When asked why they’re choosing to renovate rather than move house, 18% say it’s impractical or too much effort to move, 17% say they can’t afford to move, and 17% say there are too few homes on the market they’d want to buy.

Westpac NZ Chief Experience Officer Shane Howell says with the right advice, improvements can be a great way to enhance a home’s characteristics and add value.

“Kiwis have always loved a renovation job, but what we could be seeing right now is more people taking advantage of low interest rates to fund home improvement rather than selling and entering a challenging housing market,” Mr Howell says.

“A range of funding options may be available for renovators, including topping up their existing mortgage, or redrawing on a revolving home loan.”

When asked why it’s important to renovate their home, 74% of current or future renovators say they want to improve their home, 47% say they want to raise its value and sell, and 37% say they want to change its aesthetics.

Mr Howell’s advice to homeowners looking to renovate is to have a clear goal around what they are trying to achieve, set a plan and then stick to it.

“If the aim is to increase comfort, energy efficiency, or make your home more liveable, make sure you can achieve this on your budget. If your aim is to increase value then it would probably be a good idea to seek advice from a valuer beforehand,” he says.

Twenty-seven percent of homeowners say they’ve purchased a property that needs work, while 24% profess to simply enjoying DIY.

“We’re encouraged to see that 28% of renovators think it’s important to make their home more energy efficient,” Mr Howell says.

“We're supporting the Government's insulation and clean heating programme by waiving the establishment fee for any home loan top up or personal loan for insulation as part of the Energywise programme.”

“As well as reducing your environmental footprint, making your home energy efficient can raise its value and lead to long term cost savings”

Fewer than one in three homeowners (32%) say they haven’t renovated their home in the past two years and have no plans to do so.