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Consumer Spending Statistics

Home Owner Expenses

The latest 2019 American Housing Survey (AHS) shows that, on average, homeowners spend around $9,240 per year to operate and maintain a single-family detached home. The costliest part of running a home is paying property taxes that come a bit under $3,700. Fuels are the second-largest component of operating a home ($2,500), followed by homeowners’ insurance ($1,250), maintenance ($950), and water and trash bills ($850 combined).
Annual operating costs increase consistently with household income, home size, and value. When measured as a fraction of a home’s value, annual operating costs average close to 5%, but the share is smaller for newer homes. For the newest homes in the sample (built after 2010), operating costs amount to about 3% of the home’s value. In contrast, annual operating costs exceed 6% of the home’s value for structures built prior to 1960.
The difference in operating costs per dollar value implies that buyers can purchase higher-priced new homes and achieve the same overall homeownership costs as buyers of older less expensive homes. The regional differences in operating costs are substantial as well. Homeowners in the East South Central Division spend the least – around $6,270 per year. For homeowners in New England, the expenses associated with operating and maintaining their single-family detached homes are twice as high and, on average, exceed $13,000.

Recent Home Buyers Spending

Home buying typically generates a wave of activity as people who purchase homes spend money on improving their homes, installing new appliances, buying furnishings, and other items. Consumer spending data shows that home buyers outspend otherwise similar homeowners who do not move.
During the first two years after closing on the house, a typical buyer of a newly built single-family detached home tends to spend on average $4,500 more than a similar non-moving homeowner. Likewise, a buyer of an existing single-family detached home tends to spend over $4,000 more than a similar non-moving homeowner, including close to $3,700 during the first year.
Source: National Association of Home Builders


New and existing home buyers spend even more on furnishings than appliances. During the first year after buying a home, new home buyers spend $3,778 on furnishings, outspending old home buyers 70 percent and non-moving owners 530 percent. The differences are not only large but also most consistent when comparing expenditures on furnishings. Compared to non-moving owners, new home buyers spend more on every single item the CES counts as furnishings with the exception of infant's furniture and other furnishings. They also outspend existing home buyers on nearly all furnishing items with the exception of office furniture, dinnerware, and infant's equipment.

Property Repairs

Property Repairs and Alterations Buyers of existing homes spend $4,085 on property alterations and repairs, compared to $3,729 spent by new home buyers, and $2,232 spent by non-moving owners. Considering that new home buyers move into new homes, it might be surprising that they spend almost as much on property alterations and repairs as buyers of existing homes, but the specific types of remodeling projects are quite different across the groups.


Appliances Total appliance spending is highest for new home buyers: $3,094, compared with $1,889 for existing home buyers and $1,182 for non-moving owners. The biggest outlay in the appliance budget of new home buyers is clothing washers/dryers, lawnmowers/other yard equipment, and computer hardware/systems. Coincidentally, new home buyers outspend 4 existing home buyers and non-moving owners on all these appliances. They also outspend non-moving owners on such big-ticket items as refrigerators/home freezers and televisions.
Last modified 3mo ago