If the spring weather has you ready to channel your inner Tim Taylor, you’re not alone. Harvard University’s Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity projects that annual spending on home improvement will shoot up 6.8 percent in the second quarter of this year, following a 2.4 percent increase in the first quarter.
While spending money on your house can improve your standard of living, it rarely serves as a good investment for those planning to move soon. The average project returns an average of 64.4 percent for homes sold within in a year, according to the latest cost vs. value report from Remodeling magazine.
That’s up from 62 percent in 2015, and the second-highest return since the housing crisis began, thanks in part to larger projects and rising home prices. The average project cost nearly 5 percent more this year.
The project with the highest return on investment is attic insulation, which is the only project on the list that has a return of more than 100 percent. In general, the projects with the best returns on investment are smaller projects and outdoor improvements that add to curb appeal. Of the top five projects that have the highest return on investment, five cost less than $5,000.
The returns on investment also vary by geography, with hot housing markets seeing the highest returns. In San Francisco, for example, all of the 27 projects studied by the magazine resulted in a return of more than 100 percent.
Click here to see the home improvement projects with the highest return on investment nationally.