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Home improvements market cushions worst effects of housing slump

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BIS Shrapnel Global marketing intelligence and forecasting

NEWS RELEASE Release date: November 27, 1995

Contact: Robert Mellor BIS Shrapnel (02) 959-5924

Stuart Gardiner AAG Public Relations·(02) 959-3509


The Australian home improvements market has grown at a phenomenal rate over the last eight years and is playing a major role in cushioning the worst effects of the housing slump, says BIS Shrapnel.

A new study, The Home Improvements Market in Australia, estimates the size of the industry* at $11.25 billion in 1994 ($10.7 billion in constant 1989/90 dollars), representing growth of 33 per cent over 1992 (see bar chart). At this value, home

improvements were worth some 68 per cent of the total value of new dwelling commencements.

If current growth rates persist, the market will exceed the value of new dwellings by the turn of the century.

The study follows a telephone and mail survey in all mainland states and includes all home improvements. As a result, it was found that the market is nearly five times larger than that suggested by the Australian Bureau of Statistics which publishes

figures only for home improvements valued at and above $10,000.

The BIS Shrapnel study found that 39 per cent of Australian households undertook some form of home improvements project during 1994, resulting in 4.5 million separate projects.

Some state variations were identified, with NSW householders spending marginally more on account of the relatively older stock of dwellings.

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The incidence of projects was more heavily concentrated among higher income earners (households with an annual income of $55,000 and above), and households with a household head aged between 35 and 44. Forty-seven per cent of households in dwellings aged less than one year undertook home improvements.

Contractors and tradesmen carried out more specialised work such as re-roofing, recladding and swimming pools and outdoor spas. The incidence of do-it-yourself (DIY) activity was highest when constructing toolsheds, pergolas and gazebos, paving and relining walls and ceilings.

The top five projects in terms of value were:

$ m

1. Ground and upper floor additions 3184 2. Kitchen renovations 1698

3. Bathroom renovations 1091

4. Paving/concreting 659

5. Garages 620

These five projects accounted for some 64 per cent of the value of the market.

The average costs of the five most expensive projects were:


1 . Upper floor additions 28,224

2 . Ground floor additions 17,739

3 . Swimming pools/outdoor spas 9406 4 . Garages 5359

5 . Kitchen renovations 4740


(The Home Improvements Market in Australia is published in 16 volumes: Ground floor and upper floor house additions; Kitchen renovations; Bathroom renovations; Recladding; Re-roofing; Garages; Fencing; Window replacement; Re-guttering; Paving;

Insulation; Swimming pools and outdoor spas; Laundry renovations; Carports/awnings; Relining internal walls and ceilings; · Recladding eaves, decks/patios, toolsheds

(* excluding Tasmania and Northern Territory)

Home improvements market in Australia Growth, 1986/87 - 1994 (Constant 1989/90 $)




1989 1991 1992 1994

Source: BIS Shrapnel (Studies were not conducted in 1988, 1990 and 1993)