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Which Areas Will Spend the Most on Home Improvements This Year?

Jun 25, 2014

We talk a lot at Porch about how much money is spent on home improvements, but the National Association of Home Builders' estimates of 2014 spending on improvements by zip code is a good breakdown of just how much money is being spent, even all the way down to your local neighborhood.

According to the NAHB, the average zip code in America will see over $5 million spent on home improvement this year. That’s a lot of new roofs, landscaping, and remodels.

On average, total spending on improvements in a zip code is projected to be about $5.1 million in 2014. The top 5 total-spending zip codes are all in Maryland, Texas, or Illinois. Each of these top 5 zips contains at least 15,000 owner-occupied homes and home owners who average at least $145,000 in income and are 60 percent or more college educated. Most of these top 5 zips don’t have an unusually large share of homes in the key vintage for remodeling (homes built from 1960 to 1979), except for the zip at the very top of the list—#20854 in Maryland, a close-in suburb of Washington DC. 20854 is the only zip where over $60 million in spending on improvements is projected for 2014, and over half the owner-occupied homes in that zip were built 1960-1979.

See NAHB’s heat map of average remodeling spend per home by zip code. Lots of heavy activity in the northeast, Colorado, SoCal, and San Francisco Bay Area.

Here’s the NAHB’s list for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. Read on to see how I adjusted these figures for cost-of-living.

NAHB 2014 Spending Projections by State

RANKSTATEHOMESSPENDING (M)PER HOME
1District of Columbia110,668$299.6$2,707
2Connecticut913,482$1,961.7$2,147
3New Jersey2,099,380$4,471.1$2,130
4Maryland1,459,393$3,106.4$2,129
5Massachusetts1,583,170$3,351.2$2,117
6California6,863,765$14,053.1$2,047
7Hawaii260,435$529.5$2,033
8Colorado1,320,302$2,659.0$2,014
9Virginia2,059,305$4,136.8$2,009
10Alaska161,691$315.9$1,954
11New Hampshire372,053$723.4$1,944
12New York3,894,151$7,569.7$1,944
13Washington1,690,642$3,203.4$1,895
14Rhode Island248,947$470.3$1,889
15Minnesota1,536,021$2,840.5$1,849
16Vermont185,244$340.5$1,838
17Illinois3,195,820$5,866.9$1,836
18Utah653,230$1,189.1$1,820
19Oregon953,810$1,735.2$1,819
20North Dakota199,492$362.5$1,817
21Texas5,825,370$10,288.5$1,766
22Delaware249,624$436.2$1,747
23Nebraska498,327$861.8$1,729
24Kansas750,703$1,295.5$1,726
25Montana278,602$478.7$1,718
26Arizona1,555,284$2,669.8$1,717
27Georgia2,310,104$3,953.1$1,711
28Wisconsin1,558,251$2,628.8$1,687
29Pennsylvania3,444,645$5,805.0$1,685
30Florida4,867,931$8,165.4$1,677
31Wyoming158,372$265.6$1,677
32New Mexico526,208$864.4$1,643
33Oklahoma986,719$1,619.6$1,641
34Missouri1,614,450$2,636.4$1,633
35Ohio3,045,022$4,969.2$1,632
36North Carolina2,534,475$4,132.5$1,631
37Nevada580,080$942.8$1,625
38South Dakota224,676$363.2$1,617
39Idaho415,126$670.6$1,615
40Iowa898,866$1,451.5$1,615
41Michigan2,739,690$4,420.4$1,613
42Louisiana1,161,174$1,873.1$1,613
43Maine402,697$646.4$1,605
44Tennessee1,694,955$2,684.2$1,584
45South Carolina1,264,229$1,997.5$1,580
46Alabama1,292,936$2,017.3$1,560
47Indiana1,747,919$2,697.0$1,543
48Kentucky1,159,697$1,787.3$1,541
49Arkansas771,194$1,178.6$1,528
50Mississippi755,676$1,131.7$1,498
51West Virginia538,188$782.4$1,454

In general, the states at the top of the list are mostly high-cost areas, and those at the bottom are lower-cost areas. So I adjusted the list based on first quarter 2014 cost of living data to get a better sense of which states are going to be doing more home improvement in 2014.

NAHB 2014 Spending Projections Adjusted for Cost of Living

RANKSTATECOST OF LIVINGADJ. PER HOME
1Virginia97.0$2,071
2Colorado100.4$2,006
3Utah93.0$1,957
4District of Columbia139.6$1,939
5Illinois95.5$1,922
6Texas92.8$1,903
7Kansas91.3$1,890
8Nebraska91.7$1,886
9Washington102.6$1,847
10Georgia92.7$1,846
11Minnesota101.8$1,817
12Oklahoma90.4$1,816
13North Dakota100.4$1,810
14Maryland117.7$1,808
15Wyoming93.2$1,799
16Tennessee89.7$1,765
17New Mexico93.4$1,759
18Iowa92.5$1,746
19Massachusetts121.3$1,745
20Missouri93.7$1,743
21Montana98.6$1,743
22Ohio94.1$1,734
23Michigan93.9$1,718
24Connecticut125.2$1,715
25Idaho94.2$1,715
26Kentucky90.0$1,712
27Wisconsin98.8$1,708
28Mississippi87.8$1,706
29Indiana90.7$1,701
30Louisiana95.3$1,693
31Alabama92.4$1,689
32Arizona101.8$1,686
33Florida99.7$1,682
34New Hampshire116.1$1,675
35New Jersey127.6$1,669
36North Carolina97.8$1,667
37Pennsylvania101.6$1,659
38Delaware105.7$1,653
39Arkansas92.5$1,652
40South Dakota98.3$1,645
41South Carolina96.1$1,644
42Nevada100.2$1,622
43California127.1$1,611
44Vermont117.2$1,568
45Rhode Island120.9$1,563
46Oregon121.7$1,495
47Alaska131.8$1,482
48West Virginia98.6$1,474
49New York132.2$1,470
50Maine109.7$1,463
51Hawaii162.9$1,248

After adjusting for by how expensive each state is, the top five for home improvement activity in 2014 are Virginia, Colorado, Utah, the District of Columbia, and Illinois. The bottom five are Alaska, West Virginia, New York, Maine, and Hawaii.

Bottom line: If you live in a state near the top of the list, don’t expect that you’ll have a lot of flexibility on schedule or price when working with a pro for your home improvement project since lots of your neighbors are probably planning similar projects, too. If you’re in a state near the bottom of the list, you might have a little more leeway.

More from Porch:
Tips to Conserve Water in Your Home
Should You DIY Your Bedroom Remodel?
These 5 States Love Pianos Almost as Much as TVs

Tim Ellis is a data journalist for home improvement website Porch.

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