House: Home repair costs are rising | Real estate

Home repair and renovation costs skyrocketed in 2021. They will soar even higher in 2022.

Much like house prices, expect home repair and renovation costs to be higher in 2022. But wait a minute, you might be wondering, “How can house prices be higher than the +20% average price increase we have seen nationwide in 2021?

The surge in house prices in 2021 was mainly caused by the confluence of three factors: historically low interest rates, allowing for greater purchasing power: demand outstripping supply — 30% of homes for sale less in 2021 than in 2020; and higher costs for labour, materials and supplies.

And then you might ask again, “How can home repairs and renovations cost even more this year when repair and renovation costs are up more than +15-20% nationally? ‘last year ?”

Home repair and renovation costs have skyrocketed for similar reasons to rising house prices, but the full story of repair and renovation is even more complex and multi-faceted. The increases are mainly due to:

1. Consumers shifting their discretionary spending from entertainment and recreation services closed due to pandemic shutdowns to home maintenance and renovation projects because they are “stuck” at home 24/7 and that they “notice” what needs to be repaired, maintained and/or renovated.

2. Supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 virus and pandemic shutdowns.

3. Building and construction workers basically took it on the chin during the Great Recession of 2008. According to Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), some 2.5 million construction jobs were lost. lost since 2008 due to layoffs, retirements and workers simply seeking greener pastures and more security. The continued onslaught of COVID-19 and its multiple variants has only contributed to the drastic decline in employment levels among construction workers.

4. Prior to the pandemic, the Trump administration instituted rigid tariffs on building materials such as Canadian softwood lumber, increasing them from 9% to 17%.

5. The Biden administration briefly rolled back that softwood lumber tariff hike in 2020, but has since reinstated it in late 2021. The result? An overall increase of +36% for new housing and renovation costs.

“…[the] the shift to home as the center of our lives is not going away. — Oisin Hanrahan, CEO, Angi’s (formerly Angie’s List)

Much like the 2020 pandemic, homeowners not only spent a lot of their time at home in 2021, but they also spent more money investing in their homes. According to Angi’s 2021 State of Home Spending Report (formerly Angie’s List), homeowners spent an average of +20%, year-over-year, or $15,680, on home improvement projects in 2021.

Oisin Hanrahan, CEO of Angi, said this increase in spending on home improvements, repairs, maintenance and emergency repairs is due to a major shift to view the home as being more central in our lives. Hanrahan said: “Home is no longer seen as just ‘a place to live’ or just ‘a capital investment’. The home is now seen as a functional center that must be “fit for service”…” to be used for hybrid work or hybrid learning or hybrid child care or hybrid entertainment.

“…homeowners spent an average of +20%, year-over-year, or $15,680, on home improvement projects in 2021.” — Report on the state of household spending 2021, Angi’s

The most popular home improvement and/or maintenance projects in 2021 included older projects such as interior painting, bathroom renovations, and flooring updates. In 2021, “new” improvement projects focused on weather emergencies and energy efficiency.

Homeowners in the states of Texas, New York and California suffered extreme property damage due to extreme weather conditions and events, in part because they failed to make necessary repairs or replacements to their homes . In Texas alone, property damage costs from Storm Valentine in 2021 have been estimated at $195 billion.

Emergency repairs increased by an average of +42% in 2021, according to Angi, due to the added strain on home systems from people being indoors more. To help prevent such emergency repairs, many homeowners are turning to LED energy-efficient systems because, according to Home Depot CEO Craig Menear, “LED is definitely a game-changer and saves on average 35% on energy costs”.


Angi’s Hanrahan said this shift towards home being the center of our lives is not going away. Just as the property for sale market is expected to remain competitive (translation: rising prices) this year, the focus on maintaining and improving homes is expected to continue.

Part 2 of this series, Home repair: a priority for homeowners, despite rising costs explores rising wood and appliance costs, savings on building materials, and paying for maintenance and repairs. To be discovered in a future issue.

Norma A. Roth