ServiceMagic.com, a website that connects homeowners to prescreened, customer-rated contractors nationwide, released its annual Home Modeling & Repair Index for the third quarter of 2010. The company used its own data, plus surveys of service providers and consumers, to measure trends in home improvements.
ServiceMagic reported that it saw substantial increases in remodeling requests in the first and second quarters of the year, but that requests dropped in the third quarter. There were more remodeling requests in the third quarter of 2010 than the third quarter of 2009, however. Lawn and garden care requests increased the most over last year, rising 37 percent, while garage remodels showed the biggest decrease, with 49 percent fewer requests.
ServiceMagic’s data also showed that many homeowners who put off large exterior home improvements must invest in them now due to necessity. Air conditioning and heating and furnace improvements showed the biggest increases in requests by region.
The report also gives a demographic profile of consumers who submitted remodeling requests to ServiceMagic. The majority of consumers submitting requests were between the ages of 45 and 64 (52 percent). Only four percent of submitters were between the ages of 18 and 29. Approximately two-thirds of consumers were married, and nearly half (48 percent) reported incomes between $100,000 and $249,999. Most had lived in their homes for less than 20 years.
A survey of 1,774 consumers who submitted remodeling requests indicated that many of them were more confident in the housing market—66 percent reported that they felt better about their homes being secure investments than three months ago. Most consumers said they paid for their most recent home improvement with cash.
The report also indicated that while “green” improvements are on the rise, they are not necessarily the number one consideration for homeowners. The number of projects influenced by energy tax credits increased in the first three quarter of 2010, but most consumers said tax credits were not their reason for doing improvements. Most service providers reported that less than 10 percent of homeowners requested energy efficient or green alternatives for their home improvement projects.