ATLANTA, March 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The home improvement industry continues to regain strength as many homeowners are looking to complete home remodeling or maintenance projects this year. In fact, more than half of homeowners (57 percent) plan to spend money on home improvement projects, according to an annual survey by LightStream, an online lending division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI), conducted online by Harris Poll among homeowners.
Homeowners planning renovations this year
The most popular projects will focus on the outdoors, with 43 percent investing in improvements including decks, patios, or landscape remodels. Bathroom remodels (29 percent) and kitchen remodels (26 percent) also remain popular.
Updating a home's look, features and technology are driving 52 percent of renovation plans, followed closely by repairs (49 percent). Interestingly, family needs across generations are also motivating change: five percent say they are remodeling to suit a growing family and three percent are accommodating aging parents.
But just how much are homeowners willing to spend on enhancements? More than one third (36 percent) plan to invest $5,000 or more, with a solid 18 percent spending more than $10,000.
When it comes to paying for these projects, more than half of homeowners say they will tap savings (59 percent). Many plan to use credit cards (30 percent). Seven percent will look to secure a home improvement loan. Home equity lines of credit are also cited as a financing option (9 percent).
"With the economy improving, more and more homeowners are deciding to move forward on remodeling projects," said Todd Nelson, business development officer at LightStream. "Taking the time to consider various financing options such as a home equity loan or personal loan can help make their investments go even further, particularly with today's low interest rates. For people without equity to leverage, an unsecured home improvement loan can be a great solution." According to the second quarter 2014 Zillow Negative Equity Report, nearly 35 percent of homeowners do not have sufficient equity in their homes to leverage.
Some homeowners, even when using savings, choose to finance part of their renovations if it makes financial sense. Like four percent of those surveyed who are planning pools this year, Michael and Michelle Flick had long anticipated enhancing their backyard and had saved for a pool. They planned to add an enclosure as a "phase two project," once they rebuilt their savings.
"We're conservative when it comes to finances and didn't want to take on a lot of debt, but there were cost savings to doing all the construction at the same time," said Flick. "We researched our options and applied for a home improvement loan from LightStream. The rate was really competitive and having the loan proceeds in our bank account gave us great control throughout the construction process."
"Whether to improve indoor and outdoor space for a better family life or to perform routine maintenance, renovations provide myriad benefits," added Nelson. "Consumers are increasingly putting money back into their homes. This is good for the economy and the home improvement industry overall."
About LightStream, a Division of SunTrust Bank
LightStream offers unsecured home improvement loans at low fixed rates and with no fees to consumers with good credit. Borrowers can receive funds often as soon as the same day they apply. Through May 2015, LightStream home improvement rates start as low as 3.99% APR with AutoPay. For more information, visit LightStream.com/2015HomeReno.
LightStream is a national online lending division of SunTrust Bank, providing loans for virtually any purpose. LightStream's proprietary technology offers consumers a virtually paperless loan application, underwriting, funding and servicing experience.
SunTrust offers home equity loans and home equity lines of credit within its operating footprint in the Southeast United States.
SunTrust Banks, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, is one of the nation's largest banking organizations, serving a broad range of consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients. As of December 31, 2014, SunTrust had total assets of $190.3 billion and total deposits of $140.6 billion. Through its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, the Company operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full array of technology-based, 24-hour delivery channels. The company also serves clients in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through its various subsidiaries, the company provides mortgage banking, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. SunTrust's Internet address is suntrust.com.
About the 2015 Home Improvement Survey
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust from February 6-10, 2015, among 2,015 adults ages 18 and older (among which 1,279 are currently homeowners). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Julie.Olian@LightStream.com.
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SOURCE SunTrust Banks, Inc.