Australia may seem like a nation obsessed with home improvement, but despite the huge popularity of renovation shows such as The Block and the solid performance of interior decorating and design magazines, we may be becoming a nation of watchers and readers rather than doers when it comes to home improvement.
Since 2010, the proportion of Australians (14+) who improved their home within the past year has declined, whether it was by making minor repairs or alterations (30.5% in the year to June 2014, down from 33.4% four years ago), painting indoor or outdoor walls, ceilings or windows sills (20.7%, down from 22.5%), or redecorating or refurbishing things like carpets, curtains (16.0%, down from 17.4%).
And it’s not like we have grand plans and no time—we actually just care less. Over the same period, the proportion of usintending to do any of these things in the next 12 months has similarly declined.
% of Australians doing (or intending to do) home improvement:
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, July 2009–June 2014, average annual sample = 18,912 Australians 14+
The proportion of Aussies planning to make minor repairs or alterations in the coming year is consistently around a fifth below the proportion who will actually end up having to fix something around the house.
But the real chore, it seems, is painting: over the past five years there has been an average shortfall of around 2% points between those who say they intend to paint one year and those who say they have painted the next.
However we tend to follow through with our redecorating or refurbishing plans, with even slightly more of us updating our curtains, carpet, wallpaper or furnishings during the year than planned to.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
"Our Helix Personas segmentation tool shows that ‘Aussie Achievers’ are the most house-proud go-getters, with both intention and completion rates well above the norm. Typically hard-working outer suburban young parents with big mortgages and even bigger plans, over half of them intend to do at least one home improvement activity within the next year, from spending $5000 or more on renovations to getting plumbing or electrical work done or having insulation, security systems or rainwater tanks installed.
“Being able to pinpoint these people on a map (and instantly gauge their behaviours, values and media consumption habits) can give businesses ranging from hardware and home furnishings stores to mortgage providers, real estate chains and home builders unprecedented access to their most likely and most valuable target market.
“Over the past five years alone, Roy Morgan Research’s Single Source survey has collected home activity, purchase and intention data from almost 100,000 Australians aged 14+.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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