A recent survey by HGTV has some interesting findings regarding what Americans think about their homes:
The collapse of the housing market in 2008 may have put a check on the “the McMansion” era, but HGTV’s first HomePulse Survey finds that consumers still hanker for more space in their homes.
Home improvement remains a priority, with 61% surveyed saying they would “choose to spend on their homes rather than on something else like a vacation or the latest electronics,” according to the research series commissioned by HGTV owner Scripps Networks Interactive and Vision Critical.
Adding to the overall square footage of their home is a top priority. More women (31%) are interested in updating their décor than men (17%). More men (19%) want to improve their in-home technology than women (3%). One in three of the 1,010 panelists surveyed said creating “a beautiful outdoor space” is extremely important to them.
“We expected the ‘HGTV HomePulse Survey’ to confirm that people love their homes and are willing to spend money to improve them, but we didn’t expect that they would be willing to give up something as important as a vacation to do it,” said Denise Conroy, senior vice president, marketing, HGTV.
Some 81% said “money spent on improving my home will show a good return,” and 66% felt “now is a good time to invest in my home.”
Overall, this suggests Americans are willing to continue to sacrifice for homeownership (though I would like to see more specifics about other priorities). This reminds me of an idea in the New Urbanist book Suburban Nation: Americans have a superior private realm within their homes and it appears they want to keep it that way.
It would be helpful to see more about the interest in adding square footage. Making an addition is not an easy or cheap thing to do. It might be simply easier to move to a bigger home but this is more difficult to do in a depressed housing market. An outdoor living space might help the home feel bigger without actually adding anything. Perhaps this indicates HGTV needs even more shows about how to maximize the existing square footage and make use of all the possibilities.
If you are curious, HGTV says it trickle out more results from the survey.