In a recent study released by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (HJCHS), researchers reported that there are about 120 million homes throughout the United States, a number that increases by approximately 1.5 million each year.
With the average American home being 32 years of age, the recent boom in home improvement should come as no surprise. Combine age with the growing popularity of home improvement television shows, as well as the increasingly prevalent presence of such home improvement chains as Home Depot and Lowe's, and therein lie the key reasons the home improvement market rose to a $233 billion industry in 2003, an $80 billion increase from 1995.
Though some might suggest the bulk of home improvements are to rental properties with a constantly changing roster of tenants, the HJCHS reports that only 25 percent, or roughly $57 billion, of home improvement dollars were spent on rental properties. In addition, a significant portion of home improvement dollars were spent on improving interior space, such as kitchen or bathroom renovations.
The Midwest and the Northeast continue to be the areas where the bulk of renovating dollars are spent, due in part to land scarcity and older homes.