April 25, 2017

Top Metro Areas for Home Improvement & Lawn and Garden Projects This Summer

Top Metro Areas for Home Improvement & Lawn and Garden Projects This Summer

Introduction

Home improvement and lawn and garden care remain a growing trend in the U.S. market. According to Metrostudy, the remodeling industry closed 2016 on a strong note with the Residential Remodeling Index (RRI) reaching an all-time high of 106.1, a healthy increase of 4.5 percent from one year earlier. The index has now seen 19 consecutive quarters of year-over-year gains since 2011, the bottom of remodeling activity nationwide.1 Consumers are also spending more on their lawns and gardens. After a five-year low in 2014, the National Gardening Survey estimated that consumers spent $36.1 billion in 2015.2 Thanks to an improved real estate market, 28 percent of U.S. homeowners planned to remodel, expand or improve their home in 2016, according to a Bankrate Money Pulse survey from April 2016.3

As part of an ongoing series of insights from Infogroup, the leading provider of innovative marketing and data solutions, this study has three objectives:

  • Rank U.S. metro areas based on their concentration of home improvement businesses and lawn and garden businesses, as well as dive into how many of these businesses are classified as work at home.4
  • Analyze the consumer demographics of households that are likely to do home improvement/remodeling and lawn and garden projects.
  • Summarize the demographic characteristics of the top 10 U.S. metro areas for home improvement businesses and for lawn and garden businesses.

What are the top U.S. metro areas for home improvement or lawn and garden?

In the first part of this study, U.S. cities were ranked based on their concentration of businesses for home improvement projects and also on their concentration of businesses for lawn and garden projects, based on Infogroup’s verified business database of more than 15 million records. The study analyzed U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)5 of more than 1 million in population based on their concentration of these businesses per 10,000 residents. The number of home-based businesses in these industries was also investigated.

The second part of this study analyzes key demographics of consumers who are likely to do home improvement/remodeling or lawn and garden projects in the top 10 metro areas.

Finally, the 10 cities (MSA with a population of 1 million-plus) with the highest concentrations of home improvement businesses and lawn and garden businesses are listed in order in the last section, along with their population, concentration of businesses and percent of businesses that are work from home. The overall demographics such as median income, median home value, percent of homeowners and percent of married households for all households in the top MSAs are also included.

The types of industries targeted as being related to home improvement businesses were:

  • Heating contractors
  • Plumbing contractors
  • Air conditioning contractors and systems
  • Painters
  • Electric contractors
  • Dry wall contractors
  • Floor laying, refinishing and resurfacing
  • Roofing contractors
  • Siding contractors
  • Patio and deck cleaning and restoration

The types of industries targeted as being related to lawn and garden businesses were:

  • Landscape designers
  • Landscape contractors
  • Garden centers

The top 10 metro areas (MSA with a population of 1 million-plus) for both categories are listed below:

Rank Top MSAs: Home Improvement Businesses Per 10K Count Top MSAs: Lawn and Garden Businesses Per 10K Count
1 New Orleans, LA 14.05 Hartford, CT 4.22
2 Hartford, CT 13.61 Boston, MA 4.08
3 Boston, MA 12.81 Providence, RI 3.09
4 Birmingham, AL 12.27 Cleveland, OH 2.99
5 Oklahoma City, OK 12.10 Seattle, WA 2.79
6 Pittsburgh, PA 11.63 Philadelphia, PA 2.72
7 Miami, FL 11.21 Pittsburgh, PA 2.66
8 Charlotte, NC 11.17 Grand Rapids, MI 2.49
9 Denver, CO 11.02 Raleigh, NC 2.48
10 Cincinnati, OH 10.97 Milwaukee, WI 2.44

New Orleans tops the list with the highest concentration of home improvement businesses while Hartford, Conn., ranks highest for their concentration of lawn and garden businesses and also comes in as the No. 2 city for home improvement businesses. Boston ranks as the No. 3 city for home improvement businesses and No. 2 for lawn and garden. Providence, R.I., comes in at No. 3 on the lawn and garden list, and Pittsburgh also makes the top 10 in both categories.

An interesting trend with both home improvement businesses and lawn and garden businesses is that they include a significantly higher concentration of work at home businesses than the national average. According to Infogroup’s business database, approximately 9 percent of all businesses nationwide are work at home businesses. However, 32 percent of all home improvement businesses are work at home businesses, as are 31 percent of lawn and garden businesses.

Top 10 MSAs (MSA with a Population of 1 Million-Plus)

Size and shading of each bar corresponds to the per 10K counts of each MSA. Longer and darker green bars have higher per 10K counts.

Home Improvement & Lawn and Garden Counts – Side by Side (MSA with a Population of 1 Million-Plus)

This shows the counts for each MSA in both groups side by side. For both categories, a larger and darker green bar indicate higher per 10K counts; a shorter and lighter green bar indicate lower per 10K counts.

What do households who are more likely to do home improvement or lawn and garden projects look like?

Within Infogroup’s consumer database, TargetReady6 lifestyle interests rank households on how likely they are to do home improvement projects and garden maintenance. Households most likely to do home improvement projects and located in one of the top 10 metro areas for home improvement businesses were profiled and analyzed against households in the top 10 home improvement metro areas who are unlikely to do home improvement. Likewise, households most likely to garden in one of the top 10 metro areas for lawn and garden were profiled and compared to residents of the top 10 lawn and garden metro areas who are unlikely to garden.

The location of a household has no major effect on the demographic characteristics of the households considered. For instance, households most likely to do home improvement/remodeling or gardening are wealthier, college educated, married, and have a variety of lifestyle interests across metro areas.

Within the top 10 metro areas for home improvement businesses, households that are most likely to spend money on home improvement or major home remodeling7are more likely to have the following characteristics as compared to households that are unlikely to do home improvement or major home remodeling:

  • 4.8 times more likely to have an estimated net worth of at least $274K
  • 7.4 times more likely to be aggressive investors
  • 3.6 times more likely to have an estimated monthly expendable income of at least $4,000
  • 1.7 times more likely to be married
  • 3.0 times more likely to have an estimated home value of at least $200K
  • 1.4 times more likely to have a bachelor’s or graduate degree
  • 75 percent more likely to have lived at their current residence for 15 years or longer
  • 2.4 times more likely to have donated to any charitable cause
  • 6.4 times more likely to be a heavy investment trader
  • 4.7 times more likely to attend live theater

Within the top 10 metro areas for lawn and garden businesses, households that are most likely to do lawn and garden projects,9 like landscaping and gardening, are more likely to have the following characteristics as compared to households that are unlikely to do lawn and garden projects:

  • 3.3 times more likely to have an estimated net worth of at least $540K
  • 2.1 times more likely to be married
  • 3.6 times more likely to be aggressive investors
  • 3.1 times more likely to have an estimated monthly expendable income of at least $4,780
  • 2.4 times more likely to have donated to any charitable cause
  • 1.4 times more likely to have a bachelor’s or graduate degree
  • 1.4 times more likely to have lived at current residence for 20 years or longer
  • 1.2 times more likely to have an estimated home value of at least $200K
  • 5.1 times more likely to be a religious donor
  • 4.4 times more likely to be safety and security conscious (purchase a combination of insurance products)
  • 4.3 times more likely to be an SUV buyer
  • 4.1 times more likely to have a home office

As you can see, the general characteristics of households that are likely to do home improvement or major home remodeling in the top home improvement metro areas are similar to those of households that are most likely to garden in the top lawn and garden metro areas. Both segments are college-educated, married, wealthier, homeowners, and have lived at their residence longer. However, households in top lawn and garden metros areas that are most likely to garden tend to have higher levels of wealth and income, longer length of residence, and different predominant lifestyle interests than do households in top home improvement metro areas that are most likely to do home improvement or remodeling.

What are some characteristics of the top 10 metro areas for home improvement?

#1 - New Orleans, LA:
Home improvement businesses per 10K: 14.05
Percent of businesses10that are work at home: 32.52%
Population: 1,262,888
Median income: $42K
Median home value: $155K
Percent homeowners: 71.28%
Percent married households: 41.36%

#2 - Hartford, CT:
Home improvement businesses per 10K: 13.61
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 40.01%
Population: 1,211,324
Median income: $64K
Median home value: $225K
Percent homeowners: 70.36%
Percent married households: 45.33%

#3 - Boston, MA:
Home improvement businesses per 10K: 12.81
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 35.07%
Population: 4,774,321
Median income: $64K
Median home value: $354K
Percent homeowners: 58.56%
Percent married households: 40.51%

#4 - Birmingham, AL:
Home improvement businesses per 10K: 12.27
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 23.72%
Population: 1,145,647
Median income: $45K
Median home value: $139K
Percent homeowners: 76.69%
Percent married households: 49.98%

#5 - Oklahoma City, OK:
Home improvement businesses per 10K: 12.10
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 28.97%
Population: 1,358,452
Median income: $47K
Median home value: $129K
Percent homeowners: 69.38%
Percent married households: 47.81%

#6 - Pittsburgh, PA:
Home improvement businesses per 10K: 11.63
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 32%
Population: 2,353,045
Median income: $48K
Median home value: $104K
Percent homeowners: 76.37%
Percent married households: 47.71%

#7 - Miami, FL:
Home improvement businesses per 10K: 11.21
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 25.67%
Population: 6,012,331
Median income: $46K
Median home value: $211K
Percent homeowners: 68.18%
Percent married households: 38.36%

#8 - Charlotte, NC:
Home improvement businesses per 10K: 11.17
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 28.98%
Population: 2,426,363
Median income: $48K
Median home value: $158K
Percent homeowners: 72.53%
Percent married households: 47.96%

#9 - Denver, CO:
Home improvement businesses per 10K: 11.02
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 30.9%
Population: 2,814,330
Median income: $58K
Median home value: $275K
Percent homeowners: 68.78%
Percent married households: 44.17%

#10 - Cincinnati, OH:
Home improvement businesses per 10K: 10.97
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 35.33%
Population: 2,157,719
Median income: $49K
Median home value: $137K
Percent homeowners: 71.59%
Percent married households: 49.36%

 

What are some characteristics of the top 10 metro areas for lawn and garden?

#1 - Hartford, CT:
Lawn and garden businesses per 10K: 4.22
Percent of businesses11 that are work at home: 19.15%
Population: 1,211,324
Median income: $64K
Median home value: $225K
Percent homeowners: 70.36%
Percent married households: 45.33%

#2 - Boston, MA:
Lawn and garden businesses per 10K: 4.08
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 31.6%
Population: 4,774,321
Median income: $64K
Median home value: $354K
Percent homeowners: 58.56%
Percent married households: 40.51%

#3 - Providence, RI:
Lawn and garden businesses per 10K: 3.09
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 42.46%
Population: 1,613,070
Median income: $50K
Median home value: $242K
Percent homeowners: 64.49%
Percent married households: 43.02%

#4 - Cleveland, OH:
Lawn and garden businesses per 10K: 2.99
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 33.23%
Population: 2,060,810
Median income: $44K
Median home value: $127K
Percent homeowners: 70.57%
Percent married households: 44.25%

#5 - Seattle, WA:
Lawn and garden businesses per 10K: 2.79
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 49.86%
Population: 3,733,580
Median income: $64K
Median home value: $343K
Percent homeowners: 66.49%
Percent married households: 46.25%

#6 - Philadelphia, PA:
Lawn and garden businesses per 10K: 2.72
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 30.28%
Population: 6,069,875
Median income: $57K
Median home value: $206K
Percent homeowners: 74.88%
Percent married households: 44.32%

#7 - Pittsburgh, PA:
Lawn and garden businesses per 10K: 2.66
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 23.29%
Population: 2,353,045
Median income: $48K
Median home value: $104K
Percent homeowners: 76.37%
Percent married households: 47.71%

#8 - Grand Rapids, MI:
Lawn and garden businesses per 10K: 2.49
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 22.22%
Population: 1,038,583
Median income: $48K
Median home value: $144K
Percent homeowners: 78.67%
Percent married households: 55.64%

#9 - Raleigh, NC:
Lawn and garden businesses per 10K: 2.48
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 20.7%
Population: 1,273,568
Median income: $56K
Median home value: $207K
Percent homeowners: 70.88%
Percent married households: 49.34%

#10 - Milwaukee, WI:
Lawn and garden businesses per 10K: 2.44
Percent of businesses that are work at home: 15.84%
Population: 1,575,747
Median income: $52K
Median home value: $183K
Percent homeowners: 66.26%
Percent married households: 45.65%

1Metrostudy News (February 15, 2017) Metrostudy Releases Q4 2016 Residential Remodeling Index (RRI)— Remodeling Riding High, Outlook is Bright Even if Mortgage Rates Rise, Retrieved April 4, 2017
2Survey says more people are gardening, even Millennials. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2017
3Bankrate.com, M. C. (n.d.). Survey: 52% Are Ready For This Home Improvement Project. Retrieved March 10, 2017
4Infogroup defines a business as being work at home when the business address is a residential address.
5To get a definition of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), we turned to the U.S. Census Bureau, which defines a MSA as a Core Based Statistical Area associated with at least one urban cluster that has a population of at least 50,000. According to the U.S. Census website, this Metropolitan Statistical Area comprises the central county or counties containing the core, plus adjacent outlying counties having a high degree of social and economic integration within the urban core.
6TargetReady Models are a series of pre-developed consumer behavior or attitudinal models that are ready for immediate deployment. These models are built using a full array of demographic, lifestyle, and neighborhood data elements. Households are scored on a 0-9 scale where 0 = lowest and 9 = highest.
7The households that are likely to spend on home improvement or major home remodeling are considered to be households that have scores of 7-9 on the Home Improvement or Major Home Remodeling TargetReady models.
8Expendable Income estimates monthly household income that is left over after housing payment.
9The households that are likely to do lawn and garden projects are considered to be households that have a score of 7-9 on the Garden Maintenance TargetReady model.
10This is the percent of work at home businesses out of the total home improvement businesses for the particular metro area.
11This is the percent of work at home businesses out of the total lawn & garden businesses for the particular metro area.