Economy

43% homeowners delayed improvements due to inflation – Report

Sixty per cent of homeowners, in a recent survey, said they were less comfortable making large purchases for their homes or households because of rising prices, according to Hippo Insurance’s 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report.

Nearly 43 per cent either strongly (14.4 per cent) or somewhat (28.4 per cent) agreed that inflation had caused them to delay planned home improvement or maintenance projects.

The poll used to generate the study was conducted between April 29 and May 1 among 1,915 U.S. adults by Ipsos on behalf of Hippo.

According to the CNBC, with inflation up 8.6 per cent year over year in May — more than expected and the fastest pace since 1981 — households were facing price increases in everything from groceries and gas to rent and clothes, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Generally speaking, demand continues to outstrip supply, which is hampered in many cases by supply-chain issues.

Residential housing construction costs are up 19 per cent from a year ago, according to the National Association of Home Builders. This can translate into higher costs for home improvement projects, depending on the specifics. The housing market appears to be cooling amid higher interest rates and skyrocketing home prices. however; the median list price of a home in the U.S. is $447,000, up 17.6 per cent from a year ago, according to Realtor.com.

Financing renovations or improvements also is getting more expensive, with interest rates expected to continue ticking upward as the Federal Reserve uses higher rates to battle inflation.

‘Not all home repairs are created equal.’

However, delaying some projects can be risky. Putting off routine maintenance can lead to bigger repair outlays down the road. Last year, homeowners spent an average of about $4,000 on home repairs, the Hippo survey showed.

While it’s wise to have money set aside for maintenance and repairs, you can also take steps that may help avoid costly fixes. For instance, be sure to know where the main shutoff is for water. If you discover a leaking line from your refrigerator or washing machine, turning off that valve can prevent worse water damage.

“Start with a routine inspection of your home,” said Courtney Klosterman, consumer trends expert at Hippo. “Take note of any visible imperfections, such as cracks in the foundation or damp areas, which could be an early sign of mold.”

From there, Klosterman said it was important to create a list of must-dos and nice-to-dos.

“Prioritise issues that are known to be costlier to repair such as water leaks and any structural issues around the house,” she said.

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