What to renovate - Kitchens and Bathrooms

It is not uncommon for people to renovate, or ‘spruce up’, a property before selling it.  However, the dilemma that many sellers come across when doing so is determining which areas of the home to invest in so as to add enough value and come out ahead in the increased sales price that you achieve. 
Over the years that I have worked in the real estate industry, I have seen a number of methods used to determine the best areas of the home to work on before selling.  One of the most intuitive, I find, is to watch the growth of different industries within the home sector; when a certain industry shows substantial growth and is predicted to continue in such a fashion, you know this area is one people value and are spending their money on. 

Recent figures from the Housing Industry Association point to such growth in the Australian kitchen and bathroom industries, leading us to believe that these parts of the home should be the areas that homeowners focus on when looking to add value to a property. 

The HIA’s 2010 Kitchens and Bathrooms Report looks at the amount of money Australians spend each year on new and renovated kitchens and bathrooms and the state of industry activity.  The report found that both the kitchen and bathroom industries grew strongly in value over the 2009-10 financial year, showing increases of 9.2 per cent and 10.9 per cent respectively over the previous year. 

Such figures could suggest that homebuyers are placing increasing value on these areas and as such, it would be prudent of savvy renovators and investors to ensure that these rooms are the focus of pre-sale renovations and are finished properly, incorporating aspects that are popular.  

The report considered the different trends that are currently popular in both industries.  These included:

• Engineered and stone benchtops, followed by solid-surface benchtops and granite benchtops.  The use of stainless steel declined along with concrete and timber. 
• Two-pac polyurethane or colour painted doors were popular, followed by low-pressure laminate doors.  Roller shutter doors, natural timber doors and timber veneer doors were less popular.
• Glass and engineered stone splashbacks were popular; granite and tiled splashbacks are out.
• Trendy kitchen appliances included LCD/plasma TV’s, two-door fridges with icemakers, wine cooler/fridges and European freestanding stoves. 
• In bathrooms, lever tap ware experienced strong growth, followed by multiple sinks and taps and premium tap ware.
• Under-mount sinks were the fastest growing sink, but there was also an increase in use for double-bowl sinks and square-form sinks. 
• Soft closing, and deep and wide drawers are popular. 

The report predicts the continued increase in the value of both industries over the 2010-11 and 2011-12 financial years, which could mean that these areas of the home should persist as being of significant importance to buyers for the next couple of years at least.  

Posted by Charles Tarbey on 14/02/2011 at 12:24 PM | Categories: Renovating - Around the house - Building -


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