Survey Reveals Top Home Improvement Needs Resulting from Pandemic

Published: March 16, 2021

Buying or updating a home during the COVID-19 pandemic has presented both challenges and opportunities for both potential and current homeowners in America. Millions of Americans have felt their relationship with their home tested during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it is because of remote learning, remote work or simply not leaving the house, both the space and functionality of the home have been tested over the past year.

ImproveNet recently surveyed more than 2,000 Americans to learn more about their attitudes and preferences to homeownership and home improvement, and what impact the COVID-19  pandemic has had on both.

In this survey, ImproveNet explored how attitudes ideals and needs shifted during the past year. The survey found that 79% of respondents said all the changes that have been forced upon them as a result of the pandemic has inspired them to make changes that may never have occurred otherwise.

Homebuying During the Pandemic

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The first part of the survey asked about homebuying and moving plans for Americans during the past year. They found that 54% of prospective homebuyers report that their moving and homebuying plans have changed during the past year, 30% said their plans to buy a home had accelerated, and 24% said their plans to buy a home have either slowed or been put on hold all together. The other 46% reported that their plans to buy a home were unchanged over the past year.

On top of that, 72% of younger home buyers (millennials and Gen Zers) reported that their savings plans to buy a home have been disrupted as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Optimism About the Housing Market

The survey from ImproveNet found that the future looks bright for many younger prospective homebuyers – 54% of millennials and Gen Zers report being more motivated to become homeowners as a direct result of the pandemic. Across all generations, 52% of those surveyed said their interest in certain types of home and or locations has improved during the past year.

How Priorities Have Shifted in Regard to Where and How People Live

One of the things that ImproveNet was most interested to learn more about is how Americans’ priorities have shifted in regard to where and how people live. The company was particularly interested to learn about the experience of younger generations who either do not own a home currently, or are in the early stages of the homebuying process.

The survey asked if they pandemic has changed the importance of any of the below factors:

  • Access to nature (74%)
  • Proximity to family (70%)
  • Indoor space (70%)
  • Outdoor space (65%)
  • City, suburbs, exurbs (58%)
  • Part of the country I currently live in (56%)
  • Access to culture (54%)

How Homes Could Better Support People During the Pandemic

The next part of the survey asked Americans how well their homes are currently functioning for them during the pandemic and also in what ways their space better supported their currently lifestyles. A big surprise from the survey is that more home office space was not the top priority for many Americans.

Listed below are the tops ways that homes could be better supporting people during the pandemic:

  1. Better space for exercising (64%)
  2. Better space for hobbies (62%)
  3. Better space for cooking (59%)
  4. Better space for remote working (57%)

City Living vs. the Suburbs

The final part of the survey asked about city living vs. living in the suburbs with the intent of finding out if more people were abandoning city living during the pandemic for more spacious homes in the suburbs. Even though many people are passionate about this topic, it seems that attitudes have softened a bit during the last year.

Of those surveyed, 33% said their opinion of city living has lessened over the past year, and 36% of city residents say they value suburban living more than they did before the pandemic.

ImproveNet also asked both city dwellers and suburbanites to see if they thought that cities will change drastically in the coming years. 54% said that city living will mostly return to normal with some change. 32% said city living will completely return to normal at some point post-pandemic and 14% said city living will be deeply changed forever.


From Jan. 19-31, 2021, ImproveNet surveyed 2,085 Americans about their attitudes and preferences related to homeownership. The gender of the respondents was 55% female and 45% male. The average age was 38 years old with a range of 18 to 68 years old.

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