April 01, 2014 — Austin
Home remodeling projects in the major cities of Texas grew increasingly profitable and popular in 2013, according to the 2014 Texas Remodel Valuation Report released today by the Texas REALTORS®.
Dan Hatfield, chairman of the Texas REALTORS®, commented, “All aspects of Texas real estate are strong, including the home-remodeling market. As demand for Texas homes continues to rise, homeowners and sellers can significantly contribute to their home’s resale value through small projects and smart additions.”
The report analyzed the project recoup costs and recoup cost growth in 2013 for over 20 different remodeling projects nationwide, in the south central U.S., and in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio.
All five Texas markets except San Antonio showed significant gains in project recoup costs in 2013. Remodeling trends, however, were evident statewide. In all markets, smaller, functional remodeling projects showed greater increases in recoup costs than upscale, less practical projects.
Smaller projects that boost a home’s curb appeal continued to be popular in most markets. Steel entry door replacements, for example, ranked No. 1 for total recoup cost nationwide, in the west south central U.S., and in Houston, recouping up to 105.5% of the total project cost.
In addition, projects that increased a home’s livable square footage using existing spaces showed significantly higher recoup cost values and growth in 2013. Basement remodels ranked in the top five for recoup cost in four of the five major cities in Texas, recouping up to 99.6% of the total project cost.
Conversely, costly room additions and upscale remodeling projects were among the least profitable projects. Sunroom additions, for example, ranked in the bottom five for recoup cost in five Texas metro areas, recouping a maximum of 61.3% and as little as 38% of the total project cost.
“Texas homebuyers want a home that not only meets their family’s needs but maximizes existing square footage and functionality,” adds Hatfield. “But with a competitive housing market in many of the Texas metro areas, more homebuyers are willing to do remodeling projects once they purchase a home instead of waiting for that perfect home to come along.”
Major renovations were popular in more functional rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchen remodeling projects ranked in the top five for recoup cost growth in all five Texas metro areas, recouping up to 143.9% of the total project cost.
Finally, projects that increased a home’s sustainability showed significantly higher recoup cost values and growth in 2013. Backup power generators ranked No. 1 for recoup cost growth in Austin, El Paso, and Houston—including a 105.1% gain in recoup cost in El Paso. In addition, natural materials (wood, cement, steel) led to a significantly higher recoup cost than synthetic, plastics-based materials (composites, vinyl).