COVID-19 sparks renovation boom
Aussie families have jumped at the chance to renovate their properties during the coronavirus pandemic.
New lending data has revealed just how keen Australians are to give their homes a facelift,, with the average budget coming in at a whopping $63,188.
Victoria came in with the highest average renovation cost at $71,067, followed by Tasmania $67,416 and New South Wales $66,609. Queensland held the median at $60,560.
ACT ($58,466), Western Australia ($54,377) and South Australia ($53,524) were below the national average renovation cost alongside QLD, according to Suncorp Bank lending data retrieved from July 2019 to June 2020.
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Brisbane-based builder Mitch Picklington of Mitcon Build has been inundated with construction enquiries from households during COVID-19.
“We have been inundated with requests to quote for different jobs around Brisbane at the moment, whether it’s renovating one room in the house or making plans for a larger scale renovation to use the government’s Home Builder scheme.”
Among the most popular requests were improvements to shared living areas, he said.
“We’ve seen a surge in people wanting to expand their current living areas with an extension and refresh their outdoor entertainment area by adding a pergola, deck or even swimming pool.”
AVERAGE COST OF RENOVATION
State/Territory Average Amount
Suncorp data showed renovations were booming in The Gap, Burleigh Waters, Coorparoo, Elanora and Nerang in Queensland while Kellyville, Drummoyne, Miranda, Tamworth and Ballina were among those frequently renovated in New South Wales.
Suncorp executive general manager consumer lending Bruce Rush said postponed holidays or events were among factors that were seeing households start planning renovations.
“Many customers are keen to improve the look and feel of their home but don’t know where to start. The best way to keep a renovation on track and on budget is to do as much research as you can before getting started. Talking to your bank or broker is a good place to start to ensure you get the right finance for your renovation project.”
Victoria and Paul Taylor are among those who are planning to start renovation work, in their case on an investment property they’ve just picked up.
“Our budget is $30,000 so spending on essential upgrades and upcycling as much as possible,” Mrs Taylor said. They’re saving money on the renovation by putting in a new bathroom with upcycled cast-iron bath and basin, and repainting the original 1950s kitchen rather than install a new one.
“We should be done by mid October so that will be six weeks in total,” she said.
“We had been looking at purchasing an investment property for some time but nothing was jumping out at us. We found this renovators delight in Mitchelton and are taking time off to do it up rather than go on holiday. We weren’t thinking about renovating but given COVID-19 restrictions we figured we might as well put our energy and some dollars into a project that will hopefully reap rewards in the long term.”
According to Suncorp’s renovation calculator, kitchens continue to be the most expensive part of the home to renovate – averaging $20,750, a bathroom around $16,250, a double carport would set a homeowner back $32,450, while a small deck costs about $4,300.
Angie Brown from Randwick, New South Wales, said when COVID-19 changed her 2020 travel plans, she turned to renovations.
“We had always planned to renovate, but COVID-19 and spending more time in our apartment than ever before made us reassess our finances, hastening up our renovation plans. It’s been nice to stay busy planning our apartment renovation, talking to our bank and having discussions with local suppliers and builders, and it has given us something to look forward to in a pretty crazy year where things haven’t exactly gone to plan.”
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