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Brisbane homeowners spend the most to renovate their homes

Brisbane has emerged as the leading location in the country for home renovations, with new research finding homeowners in the Queensland capital spent $880 million on home improvements in 2022.

According to Budget Direct, with rising interest rates and people less willing to buy or move, renovations are once again becoming an appealing proposition for many.

The data showed that Sydney was the second biggest spender on renovations at $345 million, followed by the Gold Coast ($284 million), Sunshine Coast ($234 million) and Geelong ($163 million).

On the flip side, Perth homeowners spent the least on home renovation, at just $19 million in 2022. 

The data also shows that when assessing how much locations had spent on renovations, population size also changed things.

The City of Greater Geelong comes out as the biggest spender by population size with $725 per person spent on home improvements, while the Sunshine Coast has the second largest spend per person, at $641. 

However, when factoring in population, Brisbane had a total cost of $402 per person spent on home improvements – the eighth highest of all cities.

According to the research, many Australians are reluctant to purchase property in the current higher interest rate environment, highlighted by the fact that new home sales are down 42 per cent.

However, many people are still likely considering ways to make the most of their current spaces, as opposed to getting onto the property ladder. 

CoreLogic Head of Research Eliza Owen said that declining sales numbers had also lead to homeowners holding onto their properties for longer.

She said the median hold period for resales had increased to 9.9 years nationally in the March quarter, compared to 9.2 years in the previous quarter.

“The decline in the volume of property sold in the final three months of 2022 reflects the reduced appetite for property purchases in the period, as well as fewer vendors being willing to sell in a weaker market,” Ms Owen said.

In terms of the cost of doing renovations, the Budget Direct research found a two-storey extension would cost the most, averaging about $504,000.

Basement conversions were the second most expensive renovation cost, at $375,000. 

The higher cost is due to the fact that contractors need to be extra careful not to damage the property above the basement, which typically adds to the time it takes to complete the job. 

The cheapest home improvement was adding a sunroom, costing $17,500. 

Coming in at $486,500 cheaper than the highest renovation cost of a two-storey extension, it could be a money-saving alternative if you are looking for a little extra space but don’t have the funds for a full extension they said.

Despite plenty of money being spent on renovations, homeowners still have trouble, especially when it comes to .

The research found that ‘design dilemmas’ was the most discussed topic, with 1664 comments, during the analysis of an online Australian property forum.

‘Before and after’ (532 comments) is the second most common topic talked about online, with many looking to show the progress that has been made throughout their renovation journey. 

While ‘kitchens’ was the third most mentioned topic, and the most discussed location within a home followed by ‘bathrooms’ (259 comments) and ‘flooring (133 comments).  

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.