PICKY buyers and a surge in Perth property listings are driving more people to renovate before they sell.
Data from tradie finder website homeimprovementpages.com.au, or hipages, shows tradie jobs have jumped more than 100 per cent in some of Perth’s most popular renovation hot spots.
It comes as agents report more buyers turning to already renovated properties.
Byford was Perth’s renovation hot spot, with the number of tradie jobs rising 148 per cent in the past year.
East Victoria Park was at No. 2, with a 132 per cent rise. South Perth was third with a rise of 94 per cent, according to hipages.
Irrigation systems, painting and timber flooring were the most popular renovation jobs and the average renovation spend was $3000-$4000.
Hipages founder Roby Sharon-Zipser said in suburbs where prices were flat, renovations were a popular strategy to help boost returns.
He said kitchen and bathroom renovations added the most resale value.
“The rooms you spend the most time in usually have the most scope for improvement,” Mr Sharon-Zipser said.
“This includes the kitchen and bathrooms. Improving outdoor areas is also an easy and cost-effective way to increase the value. Features that don’t improve the value as much are those that require extra maintenance.
“A swimming pool is a good example. It may improve the lifestyle appeal of the property, but as an investment, it might not be the best way to increase the value of the home.”
Shaleco Construction director Fred Hancy said he had been surprised by the big number of renovation jobs the firm had taken on in the past 12 months.
“There are people who don’t want to sell at the moment because it’s tough,” he said.
“And they don’t want the expenses associated — stamp duty and extra fees — so are choosing to renovated instead.
“My tip for anyone looking to renovate would be to get as many quotes as possible. People are often told to get at least three, but I would recommend getting double that.”
Realestate.com.au statistics show online searches for renovated properties in WA had increased 39.87 per cent since 2011.
Harcourts Integrity agent Larry Mercuri said with plenty of stock to choose from, more buyers wanted properties that were ready to move into.
“Particularly with the Gen-Y buyers,” he said. “They’re the want it now generation, so are prepared to pay more for a home that’s ready to go.
“We’re finding the properties that have been recently renovated sell a lot quicker than those with renovation potential.”
Mr Mercuri said in one recent example, a villa in Yokine given an “aesthetic renovation”, with fresh paint and new benchtops, had sold for $50,000 more than an identical nearby villa that needed minor work.
“Aesthetic renovations add the most difference,” Mr Mercuri said. “Just by repainting the kitchen and adding new benchtops they will attract more buyers.”
Altitude real estate agent Hayley Pickering had also noticed an appetite for renovated properties.
“A lot of buyers coming through renovated homes are looking for something that is all done for them as they already own a home that is ripe for renovation. But they are finding the costs to get what they want are often excessive,” Ms Pickering said.
THIS Leederville property wasn’t so much renovated as completely transformed.
Megan Ross and her partner Ryan Gaerth bought the property back in 2009 when it was a rundown weatherboard.
But in a project that took more than two years, they gutted every room, adding a second storey with a loft-style master bedroom, concrete benchtops, and even a custom-built aquarium in the kitchen.
Now on the market for offers from $1.95 million, the family are hoping the home’s blend of character features with modern architectural touches will help attract a buyer.
“We’d previously renovated two smaller properties, but this was our first project of this scale,” Ms Ross said.
“It was a bit of a family affair, with my sister Nikki, who’s an architect, helping out with the project.
“From the day we moved in we got out the jackhammer. Concrete had been poured over the floorboards and we were able to smash that and restore them to their original beauty.”
Ms Ross said because Leederville was popular, the family felt the spend was worthwhile.
“Overcapitalising did play on our mind to a certain extent, but because Leederville is such a good area and central suburb, we knew that would help us when it came to selling,” Ms Ross said.