Aging Homeowners Expanding Home Remodeling Market

Increasing home accessibility needs are helping push growth in the remodeling market.

Older Americans will drive the majority of home remodeling growth in coming years as they make increased home access modifications, according to a study from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The report, Demographic Change and the Remodeling Outlook, is the latest biennial installment of demographic projections of the home remodeling market in the center’s Improving America’s Housing series of studies.

The residential remodeling reached an all-time high of $340 billion in 2015, and spending by owners on improvements is expected to increase 2 percent per year on average through 2025 after adjusting for inflation, according to the center.

Moreover, older homeowners will continue to dominate the remodeling market. The Baby Boom generation has led home improvement spending for the past 20 years, and expenditures by homeowners age 55 and over are expected to grow by nearly 33 percent by 2025. The share of market spending by homeowners age 55 and over is projected to reach 56 percent by 2025, up from only 31 percent in 2005.

The report notes that the majority of existing homes lack design features that make it possible for aging homeowners to continue living in their homes safely and comfortably. So, they must modify their residences to have the necessary accessibility. According to the report, during 2014 to 2015, 2.1 million homeowners age 55 and over reported undertaking a home access project, which amounts to nearly one in 10 older homeowners who remodeled their homes during this period.

“But as the first wave of baby boomers begins to reach the ages when home modifications become more necessary for independent living, there is tremendous unmet need for accessible housing,” the report notes. “A large share of these households live in older homes in the Northeast and Midwest, where the housing stocks have few if any universal design features.”


About the Author

David Kopf is the Editor of HME Business.

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