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If you’re planning major home maintenance or renovation projects in 2022, be prepared to dig a little deeper into your bank account. The cost to maintain the average single-family home in the United States rose 9.3% over the past year, according to a new survey from Thumbtack, and there’s every indication those costs will continue to push higher next year.
Higher home maintenance costs have been driven by labor and materials shortages as well as by rising demand for home services, according to the survey, which polled more than 1,000 Americans in the 40 largest U.S. cities. About 30% of respondents said they plan to spend more than $10,000 on home projects in the next 12 months.
According to Thumbtack’s Home Care Price Index, released on Dec. 9, the average annual cost to take care of a single-family home is $4,886 — up about $450 per household as compared to 2020. The average maintenance cost for a townhouse rose 8.6% to $1,922 this year, while the average maintenance cost for an apartment rose 10% to $682.
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Inflation to Blame for Rising Prices?
Although those increases have slowed considerably during the fourth quarter, overall inflation projections point to continued rising costs for just about everything in 2022.
Economists polled by the National Association for Business Economics estimate that annual inflation will remain above 2% over the next three years amid rising wages and heavy demand for goods and services, per a recent Fox Business report. Consumer Price Index inflation is projected to climb nearly 3% by the end of 2022.
If that increase creeps into home maintenance, you can expect that the average cost of maintaining a single-family home will push above $5,000 in 2022. Of course, a lot depends on what types of renovation or maintenance are being targeted. In 2021, costs are up for all but a few maintenance categories, per Thumbtack. Here are some of the year-over-year cost increases for the current quarter:
- Sprinkler and irrigation repair: 28.8%.
- Appliance maintenance: 19.7%.
- Duct cleaning: 19.5%.
- Roof maintenance: 13.4%.
- Tree trimming: 13.4%.
- House cleaning: 13.3%.
Only three categories saw a decrease in costs this quarter: fireplace and chimney cleaning, which fell 5.3%; central air-conditioning maintenance (down 1.8%); and lawn care (down 0.4%).
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Which U.S. Regions Will Be Hit Hardest by Rising Home Maintenance Costs?
In terms of geographic regions, Thumbtack’s Home Care Price Index found double-digit maintenance increases in numerous Sunbelt cities this year. Those seeing some of the highest spikes are West Palm Beach, Florida, (+18.4%); Charlotte, North Carolina (+18%); Orlando, Florida (+16.6%); Houston, Texas (+15.8%); Miami, Florida (+14.4%); San Antonio, Texas (+13.8%); and San Diego, California (+13.7%).
Steep increases have also been reported in hot housing markets such as Portland, Oregon (+33.9%); Las Vegas, Nevada (+17.6%); Seattle, Washington (+16.3%); Salt Lake City, Utah (+12.8%); New York City, New York (+12.1%), and Denver, Colorado (+10.5%).
On the other end of the spectrum, some cities have seen either declines or minimal increases in home maintenance costs this year. These include Baltimore, which was the only city on the list to record a decrease, at 1.9%. Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., all reported increases of 3% or less.
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No matter where you live, experts recommend setting aside enough money every year for maintenance and renovations to ensure your home stays in good condition.
“People in different cities will be making different choices, but what’s clear is that while you can postpone buying a new couch — if you’ve moved to a warmer climate, you cannot delay the maintenance or repairs to your air conditioner, your sprinklers and other high wear-and-tear areas,” David Steckel, home expert at Thumbtack, said in a press release. “Proactive home care saves homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs and helps push replacement dates down the road.”
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