Research Spotlight: 2022 Remodeling Impact Report

In April, NAR Research released the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, which takes a deep dive into the reasons why a homeowner remodels, the results of taking on projects, and the increased happiness found in the home when a project is completed. It also includes the typical costs of 19 remodeling and replacement projects as estimated by members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), how much appeal each project is likely to have to buyers according to REALTORS®, and how much REALTORS® estimate that home owners can recover the costs of the projects if they sell the home. I spoke with Dr. Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights for Research, on the report’s key findings and key takeaways.

What is the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report – what kind of data can we find in this report?

Jessica Lautz: This report is unique in that it looks at the typical cost of a remodeling project (with data from our partners at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), what could be recovered on resale of the home (information from REALTORS®), but also the homeowner’s own experience in taking on a remodeling project (from Houselogic.com).

How did this report come about?

Jessica Lautz: The report series was started in 2015 as an approach to look at redevelopment holistically. NAR believed it was important to look at remodeling from three perspectives: as a potential homebuyer who can see things they have to take on; as a potential seller who may need to spruce up their home before selling; and as an owner who might just want to tackle a project for himself.

What are the main takeaways from the report?

Jessica Lautz: This year the winner was hardwood floors. Repairing hardwood floors and installing new wood flooring had the greatest value, and these projects also had high Joy Scores (calculated by NAR for each project based on the joy homeowners reported with their renovations) among homeowners. Hardwood floors look beautiful in photos and videos, can be easier to clean for new pet owners, and add warmth to a home that appeals to home buyers and homeowners alike.

What are some of the key differences between last year’s report and the latest version?

Jessica Lautz: Interestingly, Joy Scores for all remodeling projects were up this year. People spend a lot of time at home and entertain at home more than ever. It would make sense that investing in one’s space would create joy. Even projects that an owner could DIY and tackle in a weekend, such as painting a room, added a perfect happiness score of 10.

What significant trend stood out to you in the 2022 report?

Jessica Lautz: New questions were added this year that looked at the owners’ motivation to remodel another room once one was finished. The report shows that remodeling can almost be a fun hobby or addiction. Once an owner tackles one space, they are happy to turn to another for the next project.

What aspects of this report do you find most interesting?

Jessica Lautz: While most of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen — eating, cooking, working — the kitchen-related project doesn’t provide the highest return on value or the highest happiness score, according to this year’s report. This may already be an aspect of the home that is highly customizable with features and finishes, and we all use the kitchen differently so there is room for interpretation of the overall return.

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