Home maintenance costs have climbed in Greater Boston

Americans are not only paying some of the highest prices ever for houses, they’re also spending more money to maintain them.

The cost of maintaining a home is estimated to rise by 9.3 percent this year, according to a new index from Thumbtack, a home services website. Owners should budget $4,886 for a single-family home — up about $450 from last year, in part due to labor and material shortages, the site in a statement released Dec. 16.

The expenses are increasing particularly in cities like Portland, Ore., and Las Vegas, where home prices have also skyrocketed. Meanwhile, they dropped about 2 percent in Baltimore, where the housing market is softer. Boston is  seeing a 2.1 percent increase, equating to $5,499 in home maintenance costs annually for a single-family home. 

A heat map pinpointing rising home maintenance costs, which Washington, D.C., the only locale in red, meaning that costs are climbing the least there. Priced increased by the most percentage points in the Pacific Northwest, Las Vegas, and Florida.
A bar graph showing the increase in costs for home maintenance in various cities.
. —Thumbtack

Americans are choosing to invest more in their homes to outfit spaces for work and school. Almost a third of owners surveyed say they plan to spend more than $10,000 on projects in the next 12 months, which could add upward pressure on housing prices.

Other projects are being done more out of necessity, like repairs to air conditioners in warm climates or hot water tanks that have a limited life cycle. Americans are also proactively spending on routine maintenance to avoid costlier repairs down the road, the study indicated.

Thumbtack’s data are based on more than one million projects that are deemed essential annual tasks for home maintenance, such as fixing a roof and tree removal. It tracked requests on its platform from Jan. 1, 2020 to Nov. 18, 2021.

While some projects can be done by handy owners or deferred, many others must be tackled each year and require a skilled technician. Appliance maintenance costs rose 19.7 percent from a year earlier, the data show. Here is the average cost in the United State for certain home repairs:

The average cost of home repairs, from $97 for appliance repairs to $790 for deck staining and sealing
. — Thumbtack

The costs of home care in town houses and apartments have risen 8.6 percent and 10 percent, respectively, in the last 12 months, Thumbtack said. It now costs an average $1,922 for town home upkeep annually and $682 for apartments.

The increases parallel a rise in the monthly median fees set by condominium homeowners’ associations, according to data compiled by Zillow Group Inc. And rising home valuations likely translate to higher property tax costs, which were up the most in 15 years in 2020, according to Labor Department data.

Study: Home maintenance costs have climbed in Greater Boston

 

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