10-Dec-2019 • Personal Finance

Sixty-four percent of Australian home owners are making improvements to their home ahead of the Christmas holiday period.

That was the key finding from ME’s recent survey of 1,000 home owners, which explored the intentions and motivations of house-proud Australians in the lead up to the holidays.

In terms of the driving motivation behind the timing of the home improvements, 31% said it was in preparation for guests over the festive period, 31% said they like using Christmas as a self-imposed deadline to ‘get things done’, 35% said timing was purely coincidental and 2% said ‘other’.

ME money expert Matt Read said: “Australians are house proud, so it’s not surprising that many home owners are sprucing up their homes before the entertaining season.

ME’s survey found the home improvements ranged from fixing small things around the house to renovating entire rooms, and home improvement budgets ranged vastly too from $200 to $7,000, with the average spend reported to be $1,731.


Table 1. Home improvements being made before Christmas


Fixing broken things (e.g. mending a squeaky door)


Enhancing garden/courtyard of my home (e.g. buying plants or redoing decking)


Buying new furniture or furnishings (e.g. buying a new table or cushions)


Enhancing interior of my home (e.g. painting walls)


Enhancing exterior of my home (e.g. replacing or repainting fretwork or awnings)


Renovating a room or more (e.g. redoing a bathroom)






When asked if making home improvements before Christmas adds financial pressure to the holiday period, a huge 61% agreed.

ME survey revealed this pressure is being felt more in younger generations, with 88% of 18–24-year old home owners feeling the financial pressure of renovating, in comparison to 44% over those over 55 years of age. There was, however, no statistical difference between financial pressure at different income levels.

“Many younger Australians who break into the housing market will have larger mortgages than more established home owners, which could make them feel more stretched,” said Read.

“Making your home look nice before Christmas is understandable but it can add to the financial pressure of the holiday period. Budget before you build, because once started, a project in the lead up to Christmas will be difficult to stop, even when it’s becoming much more expensive than you expected,” concluded Read.


Editor notes: ME surveyed 1,000 Australian adult home owners in November/December 2019, with fieldwork conducted by research provider Pureprofile.

Did you find this page useful?
We're sorry, please tell us why?
Please leave your feedback before submitting.
Please note: This form is for website feedback, so enquiries won't reach our customer service team. If you need to get in touch, call or email us here.
Thanks for giving ME feedback.