COVID-19 has sparked growth in spending on home renovations, building and property maintenance. Australian families have been renovating their properties during the coronavirus pandemic, with the average budget coming in at $63,188 according to latest lending data.
Femeconomy members from the building, renovation and property sector shared their experience of the COVID-19 on their business, and the market forces driving this trend. Whilst there has been growth in projects, the complexity of restrictions and COVID requirements have meant that it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
Home became our workplace too
Justine Teggelove, Co-Founder of Build In Common said, “We’ve definitely noticed here at Build In Common an increase in people’s appetite to begin projects that they may have previously delayed, or not considered tackling, prior to COVID. Also with remote working now becoming a norm in our day to day psyche and routine, the blending of the home and office has had an impact on the decision making timeline and the by-product has been the acceleration of projects, renovations and refurbishments for people.”
Holiday funds were diverted to home improvement
Vicky Young, Director of Building Evolution, shared, “Aussie families have more time than ever before to consider what improvements could be made to their surrounds. With redirection of what was previously “holiday funds’ now available for renovations and extensions Building Evolution has seen a dramatic increase of inquiries. Our design, project management and construction offering has proved highly beneficial for our clients who are not sure how to get started and need that extra support making it happen.
COVID has presented significant challenges in the residential building sector. For us we have had to navigate client frustrations (no onsite visits, no retail showrooms open for important decision making), supplier delays, resource stoppages due to self isolation for COVID testing, implementation of COVID safe plans and worker permits, and a massive increase of neighbour complaints due to noise and their work from home challenges. We however, remain grateful that we have been able to continue working, and employing our staff and subcontractors whilst moving our clients projects forward.
The mental health challenges of the Corona Coaster has put a new layer of stress on our team, our suppliers and our clients. Our collective understanding of this pandemic and its impacts has meant that our experience during this time has been largely positive and in many cases overwhelmingly so. Most people really get it, and go out of their way to exhibit understanding and compassion both personally and professionally. This has been an unexpected but beautiful part of this complex journey.”
Home improvement demand rose, while supply chains were constrained
Trina Hockley AM, Executive Chair of L & M Gold Star found, “COVID-19 has brought with it many challenges around the supply chain. However, the sale of large screen TVs has seen a dramatic rise as well as freezers and bread makers. As things are starting to settle down, we are now seeing a rise in more designer kitchen trends such as steam ovens and statement range hoods.”
Some people chose to renovate instead of sell their home, while others used the opportunity to prepare for sale
Amanda Patterson, Principal & Licencee Local Realty explained, “We have seen a trend in our local market of homeowners investing in their own homes rather than selling. Many people have taken advantage of the early release of their superannuation to carry out these renovations and additions to their property. Money that was once used on extravagant holidays and entertainment has been invested into an asset that will return in the future. We continually hear comments that people feel better off now then they did pre-Coronavirus and are much happier spending quality time in their home with their family.”
Julie O’Donohue, CEO Next Address said, “Next Address has seen families renovating in preparation to sell once the restrictions are over. People are capitalising on the down time to maximise their sale results.”
Restrictions meant Victorian businesses missed out
Stacey Barrass, Managing Director of Goddess Cleaning Group in Melbourne pointed out, “Under Stage 4 Restrictions in Victoria, we were unable to complete any household cleaning unless it was for existing construction work. Due to the limited number of workers allowed on construction sites, a number of our builders are behind in their schedules and not able to commence any of the new properties that required renovations.”
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