It’s Truly Massive: the DIY Industry


Make no mistake about it: you’re not the only one heading to the home and timber hardware stores in Melbourne. DIY renovations are getting popular in Australia.

How Big Is DIY?

Australia is a country of builders. Home renovations and constructions have become a pastime. The spending and projects, however, have never been this massive. The experts call 2018 as the Year of the Renovation. The Bureau of Statistics revealed that private investments for additions and changes ballooned to nearly $10 billion in the third quarter. That’s more than 10% higher than in the previous year. Queenslanders alone spent almost $2 billion on renovations.

Houzz Australia further corroborates the data. Within the same period, at least 57% of homeowners said they planned to renovate their property. In 2017, around 50% of them made some improvements, spending about $25,000. It’s not only first-time homebuyers who are changing their properties. So are repeat homeowners. They’re also likely to pay twice the amount of first-time property owners.

Homeowners also tend to renovate different parts of the house, although they focus more on high-value areas. These are the kitchens and bathrooms. Others are the bedrooms and the living rooms. Kitchens are the most expensive to improve with homeowners spending about $20,000 for one that measures over 10 square meters.

Why Being on Their Own Is Attractive

a man at his workshop

DIY home renovations, especially for Australians, are appealing for a variety of reasons. First on the list is the cost of homeownership. Although home prices dipped over the last few years, Australia still has some of the priciest properties in the world. In September 2019, home prices in Melbourne increased by 1.4%.

It was higher than the national average, which was 0.8%. It also came second to Sydney, whose property prices rose to nearly 2%. Homeownership also includes mortgage payment, maintenance, and taxes. According to Morning Star, you need to allocate at least a percentage of the property’s value each year for upkeep. That can be as high as $10,000 annually. Property taxes and insurance can reach around $2,000.

Hiring professionals, therefore, can further bloat these figures. It siphons more money that needs to be for other essentials such as food and transport. Home prices can also drive DIY renovations by preventing homeowners from buying another property. Instead of making a down payment, they can opt to improve their home their way.

Another reason is the accessibility of the tools and supplies. As it continues to be a trend, more stores expand their offerings. This allows homeowners to follow through with their projects and even work on more. Convenience also comes in the form of social media, particularly YouTube and Pinterest. People have already watched 50,000 years’ worth of product reviews on YouTube. It also adds at least 400 videos every minute.

Meanwhile, Pinterest, which allows users to create design boards, has 250 million active users every month. Over 95% of them would try out one of the ideas they see.

For Australians, DIY renovations are a matter of affordability, accessibility, and creativity. As long as the tools and ideas are around, these projects are more likely to prospect further in the coming years.

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