SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thumbtack, the modern home management platform, today released its first Home Care Price Index. Leveraging data on essential home maintenance needs, the Home Care Price Index provides insight into the annual cost of homeownership nationwide as well as in the 40 largest U.S. cities.
Over the past 12 months, the average cost to care for a single family home has risen 9.3 percent driven in part due to labor and material shortages. At the same time, there is an increase in demand for home services, with 30 percent of homeowners surveyed saying they plan to spend more than $10,000 on home projects in the next 12 months.1
“Our homes are increasing in both value and importance in our lives. As costs rise, staying on top of home care is a wise investment — saving money, adding value, and delivering peace of mind for homeowners,” said Marco Zappacosta, co-founder and CEO of Thumbtack. “We created the Home Care Price Index to offer transparency, all while helping homeowners find a great pro at the right price for all their home needs.”
Average Cost of Home Care
According to Thumbtack’s Home Care Price Index, the average annual cost to take care of a single family home is $4,886 — up roughly $450 per household compared to 2020. In Q4 2021, these increases appear to be slowing with costs growing 0.4 percentage points less compared to the prior quarter.
The Home Care Price Index takes into account various projects homeowners need to tackle each year — including HVAC maintenance, gutter cleaning, roof maintenance, and more — to prevent costly repairs and avoid unnecessary emergencies. Among these projects, the largest pricing spikes are happening in sprinkler and irrigation system maintenance (+28.8 percent), appliance maintenance (+19.7 percent), and duct and vent cleaning (+19.5 percent).
What’s more, the rising cost of home care is impacting not only single family homes but also townhomes and apartments. In the last 12 months, the average cost for a townhouse has risen 8.6 percent to $1,922 — up roughly $150 since 2020 (not including HOA fees). And over the same timeframe, the average cost for an apartment has risen 10 percent to $682 — up $62 from 2020.
Regional Inflation Trends
Many areas across the country have seen cost increases in the past year due to the ‘great reshuffling,’ labor and supply shortages, and a new focus on minimizing wear-and-tear on homes during the pandemic. These trends vary vastly on a local level:
- Florida and the ‘Sun Belt’ see spikes: As homeowners, and families especially, look for warmer (and milder) weather, Floridian cities like West Palm Beach (+18.4 percent), Orlando (+16.6 percent), and Miami (+14.4 percent), as well as cities along the ‘sun belt’ like Charlotte (+18 percent), Houston (+15.8 percent), San Antonio (+13.8 percent), San Diego (+13.7 percent), Austin (+12.6 percent), Atlanta (+10.8 percent), and Greenville-Asheville (+10.8 percent) are all seeing increases.
- Hot markets see rising costs: In addition, cities where real estate has boomed since the pandemic started like Portland (+33.9 percent), Las Vegas (+17.6 percent), Seattle (+16.3 percent), Salt Lake City, (+12.8 percent), New York (+12.1 percent), and Denver (+10.5 percent) are also seeing sharper rises.
- Cooler markets see slowdown: Cities like Baltimore (-1.9 percent), Columbus (+0.9 percent), Boston (+2.1 percent), Philadelphia (+2.4 percent), Washington DC (+2.5 percent), San Francisco (+3 percent), Nashville (+3.1 percent), Milwaukee (+4.3 percent), Chicago (+4.4 percent) and Dallas-Ft. Worth (+5.2 percent) are trailing nationwide averages significantly or seeing slowed growth.
“People in different cities will be making different choices. But what’s clear is that while you can postpone buying a new couch — if you’ve moved to a warmer climate, you cannot delay the maintenance or repairs to your Air Conditioner, your sprinklers and other high wear and tear areas,” added David Steckel, Home Expert at Thumbtack. “Proactive home care saves homeowners thousands of dollars in repairs and helps push replacement dates down the road. For example, HVAC maintenance costs $390 each year compared to replacing a system which can cost up to $12,500.”
Shift to Continuous Care
Homes have become even more central in people’s lives in the past two years, making it more important than ever to embrace the idea of continuous care — not just fixing things when they break, but preventative maintenance. As a go-to partner, Thumbtack helps homeowners take care of their home from top to bottom, finding the right pro at the right time for their home’s unique needs, without the hassle.
Thumbtack is a technology leader building the modern home management platform. Through the Thumbtack app, homeowners can effortlessly manage their homes — confidently knowing what to do, when to do it, and who to hire. Bringing the $500 billion home services industry online, Thumbtack empowers millions of homeowners to fix, maintain, and improve their most valuable asset. Hundreds of thousands of local service professionals, from painters and plumbers to photographers and math tutors, use the Thumbtack platform to grow their business each year.
The Home Care Price Index incorporates Thumbtack categories that are deemed essential annual tasks for home maintenance — Appliance Maintenance, Carpet Cleaning, Central Air Conditioning Maintenance, Deck Staining and Sealing, Duct and Vent Cleaning, Fireplace and Chimney Cleaning, Full Service Lawn Care, Gutter Cleaning and Maintenance, Heating System Maintenance, House Cleaning, Leaf Clean Up, Pressure Washing, Roof Maintenance, Sprinkler and Irrigation System Maintenance, Tile and Grout Cleaning, Tree Trimming and Removal, Water Heater Maintenance, Window Cleaning, Caulking, and Deep Cleaning. Pricing data is based on over one million projects requested on Thumbtack between January 1, 2020 – November 18, 2021 reported directly by the independent service professional or individual customer. The cost is an unweighted index of home maintenance projects on a quarterly basis using a moving average. Outliers were removed if the reported price was 3x the standard deviation from the mean within each individual category.
1 In a Thumbtack survey of over 1,000 Americans, 22 percent of homeowners plan to invest $5,000 to $9,999, 19 percent plan to invest $10,000 to $24,999, 6 percent plan to invest $25,000 to $49,999 and 5 percent plan to invest $50,000 or more.
Laura Arrubla Toro