The reno revolution
HOME renovations are soaring across pockets of Melbourne, as homeowners opt for makeovers over moving.
Our love affair with revamping real estate, signalled by the popularity of renowarrior television shows like
grew strongest in the middle and outer suburbs.
Pascoe Vale was the state’s renovation hotspot, according to building website Hipages, which compared renovation works in the first three months of 2016 with the same period last year.
The number of renovation jobs nearly tripled d in the northern suburb, growing by 182 per cent.
Mulgrave, Frankston South, Balwyn and Clayton followed, more than doubling the number of renovation jobs in 12 months.
Langwarrin, Truganina, Hallam and Melton South also topped the list, with Geelong’s Highton the only suburb out of Melbourne to make the top 10.
Wardrobes, waterproofing and plumbing were the most popular renovations.
Hipages founder Roby Sharon-Zipster said affordability was a key driver encouraging people to renovate.
“If you sell, where do you move to? But if you’re willing to spend a few thousand dollars you may be able to get the better home you want,” he said.
Mr Sharon-Zipster said the average renovation spend was $3000 to $4000, while some buyers had lashed out and spent as much as $400,000 on major structural changes.
True Blue Homes chief executive officer Darryn Bass, pictured above, said the most popular requests were kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.
He said adding a second storey to homes was also highly sought-after, providing more space, bedrooms and bathrooms.
Expectations were an important issue for homeowners considering renovating, Mr Bass said.
“People should be comfortable with a builder and get some real feedback to what things will cost,” Mr Bass said.
He said many renovators had unrealistic expectations about the costs and time needed for projects, in part due to renovation reality television shows.
He said TV contestants might complete an entire kitchen for relatively little money because the shows were sponsored, but in the real world custom kitchen p projects often cost $35,000 to $50,000.
Buyer’s advocate Robert Di Vita, of National Property Buyers, said the vast majority of Melbourne homebuyers were looking for a renovated period home, retaining traditional features and modernising the kitchen and bathrooms.
Mr Di Vita said buyers should get building and pest inspections to make sure there were no hidden surprises in the subfloor and roof cavity.
He said renovators should spend no more than 10 per cent of the value of the property on the entire project, aiming for a profit margin of 15 per cent to avoid over-capitalising.
Realestate.com.au data shows nearly a quarter of buyers searching the property portal used keywords to find both renovated and unrenovated projects.
The term “renovated” was the most popular in Melbourne.
The research found the kitchen would be the first room home renovators would tackle.