Renovation trends to watch

Westpac research illuminates COVID-caused trends shaping behaviour of Aussie homeowners

Renovation trends to watch


By Madison Utley

As 2020 comes to a close, Westpac has released new research uncovering renovation trends that took shape across Australia over the course of the pandemic.

National findings

Almost a third (31%) of Australians are planning renovations in the next five years, with one in five (18%) already in the process or planning to complete within the next 12 months.

On average, Australians plan to spend about $82,000 on renovations, with one in five (22%) planning to spend over $100,000. Mostly, renovators will fund their projects using their savings (73%).

The top reasons to renovate are because it’s more affordable than moving or buying a new house (27%), to adjust to changing home needs brought about by the pandemic (25%), and a desire to stay in the same area (24%).

More than a quarter (28%) are renovating for reasons relating to the pandemic; one in ten (11%) are doing so to accommodate working from home more, and nearly one in five (17%) because they’ve had more time during the pandemic to think about home upgrades.

Two thirds (65%) of renovators also agree that COVID-19 restrictions have made them consider alterations to enhance them and their family’s living arrangements.

Half (51%) of renovators say they’ve been inspired by TV programs like The Block.

With nine in ten (89%) agreeing renovations are good for increasing the value of their property, almost a quarter (23%) are undergoing renovations in preparation to sell in the future. Four in ten (43%) are also planning to either sell or rent out their home once restrictions have eased.

The most common renovations Australians plan to undertake are landscaping their backyard of garden (23%) or modernising a bathroom (21%) or kitchen (19%). A quarter (25%) plan to renovate outdoor areas like decking (13%) or entertaining space (12%).

State trends

  • Homeowners in NSW/ACT (33%), West Australia (32%) and Victoria (30%) are most likely to be thinking about renovating in the next five years.
  • Renovators in NSW and ACT are planning to spend the most on renovations ($93,427), while West Australians plan to spend the least ($41,458).
  • Queenslanders (32%) are more than twice as likely to consider renovations important in preparation to sell than Victorians (15%) and South Australians (11%).
  • Victorians (16%) are twice as likely to be renovating to accommodate working from home more than those in New South Wales and ACT (8%).
  • After extended time in lockdown, Victorians are also the most likely to be considering alterations that would make life at home for them and their family more comfortable because of restrictions (70%).

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