As consumers stretch and come out of their post-holiday winter hibernation (wait, that was a winter, right?), we’re looking at home-improvement and D.I.Y. trends this week. That garage reorganization can wait until we sort through some statistics, right?

Both home-improvement giants Lowes and Home Depot reported good numbers in the last quarter of 2011, and a few new studies point out that consumers may open their wallets inside their own walls as the housing market continues looking for slow growth. The Remodeling Futures Program at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies recently showed remodeling spending trajectory paced to hit $113.6 billion by the third quarter of 2012.

So why is this important to marketing outside the paint and nail-gun business? It actually spans across industries, and most should note how these home trends adapt to new consumer lifestyles.

Skipping the Gym and Spa
JP Morgan Chase Card Service’s “What’s on Your Slate?” survey recently reported that 46 percent of respondents plan to move their exercise habit outside or into their own home this year. A strong 59 percent look to pamper themselves more at home, avoiding spa and salon expense. Look for opportunities appealing to affordable, easier managed relaxation for consumer peace of mind.

All in the Family
Contractors with time on their hands from the bust, see a bit of consolation in the rise of suite renovations. The National Association of Home Builders reported that 62 percent of builders were working on age-related modifications, with one in five adding entry-level bedrooms. As the recession also saw unemployed adult children returning home in record numbers, the previously questionable investments of multi-generational housing become more appealing to those who sought shelter in the storm.

Green Envy
Footprints appear to have decreased with spending. While rebates helped push previous green trends, downsizing and the desire to reduce utility costs appear to be sustaining and self-propelled. Creative storage options rose with downsizing spaces and tax-rebates on energy-efficient appliances for the next few years continue pushing green decisions.

By taking note of how these housing attitudes spill into all parts of consumer desire, you might not need as much marketing cleanup by 2013. And that gives you plenty of time to procrastinate on that garage project.

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