More than half of homeowners planning improvements in 2018

by Steve Randall02 Mar 2018

There’s been a rise in the share of homeowners who plan to make home improvements this year, with 58% intending to do so.

They’ll be spending more too with 45% of respondents to a survey by LightStream, the national online lending division of SunTrust Banks Inc.  planning to spend $5,000 or more – an all time high.

Tax reforms have prompted almost 1 in 5 homeowners to increase their budget.

Outdoor improvements (43%) top the list of planned work, followed by bathroom remodel (31%), home repairs (28%) and kitchen remodel (26%).

How will they pay for home improvements?
HELOCs will be used by 13% of respondents, up from 10% last year; but savings remain the top way that home improvements will be financed, at least in part (62%).

"U.S. economic growth and limited housing inventory have contributed to healthy home equity gains," said Ellen Koebler, SunTrust head of consumer solutions. "HELOCs can offer a financial solution for many homeowners, as accrued value may be available to tap for renovations."

Credit cards will be used by 30% while 9% said they would use a home improvement loan for their plans, up by almost a third from last year, and by more than half among younger homeowners (18-34 yrs).

"Consumers are becoming more comfortable with home improvement loans because of the availability of higher loan amounts, speed of delivery and the overall flexibility they provide," said Todd Nelson, LightStream senior vice president.

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