The best cities in the US for do-it-yourselfers

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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic more than two years ago, living space has taken on a new importance for many Americans. From early COVID lockdowns to sustainable remote or hybrid work arrangements, people are spending more time at home and collectively invest billions in the places where they live.

While the economic effects of the pandemic – including high savings rates, low interest rates and government stimulus measures – helped boost home renovation spending, investment in such real estate projects was already in full swing. rise in recent years, alongside more than a decade of rising house prices. In 2011, after the Great Recession, inflation-adjusted spending on major home improvements per household fell to $1,452, but that figure has risen steadily to $2,398 in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Analysis. economic.

While households have historically shown a greater likelihood of investing in their homes during periods of rising property values, a number of factors specific to the COVID-19 pandemic have encouraged more homeowners to self- even works as “do-it-yourself” projects. Data from the Farnsworth Group and the Home Improvement Research Institute collected between March 2020 and June 2021 shows that more than 90% of Handymen reported doing the job because they had more time at home, more than 50% for health or safety reasons and more than 20% because contractors were unavailable. More recently, the rising cost of labor and materials may increase the incentive for homeowners to undertake necessary projects themselves in order to save money.

Being a handyman is more favorable in some parts of the country than in others, given that between 80 to 90% of DIYers say they buy their home improvement products in-store (as opposed to online). Based on concentration of hardware, furniture, and appliance stores relative to population, states in the Mountain West, Plains, and New England regions are the most DIY friendly, led by Montana with 8.54 shops per 10,000 inhabitants. At the other end of the spectrum are Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona and California with less than half the number of stores per capita compared to the major states.

The data used in this analysis comes from the US Census Bureau, Zillow and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. To determine the best locations for do-it-yourselfers, researchers from Porch calculated the concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000 inhabitants). In the event of a tie, the location with the most total number of hardware, furniture, and appliance stores was ranked higher. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants were included. Additionally, metros were grouped into cohorts based on population size: small (100,000 to 349,999), medium (350,000 to 999,999), and large (1,000,000 or more).

Here are the best US metro areas for do-it-yourselfers.

The Best Large Subways for DIYers

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

15. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.51
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 2,190
  • Median house price: $649,034
  • Cost of living (compared to average): +10.2%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

14. Oklahoma City, OK

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.53
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 633
  • Median house price: $210,799
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -6.2%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

13. Salt Lake City, UT

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.61
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 560
  • Median house price: $602,765
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -2.3%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

12. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.61
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 1,139
  • Median house price: $581,400
  • Cost of living (compared to average): +5.7%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

11. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.63
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 881
  • Median house price: $433,158
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -3.0%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.64
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 1,079
  • Median house price: $211,973
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -4.3%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

9. Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.68
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 564
  • Median house price: $312,123
  • Cost of living (compared to average): +2.9%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

8. Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.70
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 503
  • Median house price: $303,655
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -5.3%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

7. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.70
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 593
  • Median house price: $236,137
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -8.1%

Photo credit: Andrew Zarivny/Shutterstock

6. Rochester, New York

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.76
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 510
  • Median house price: $211,155
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -1.7%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

5. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.77
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 774
  • Median house price: $438,168
  • Cost of living (compared to average): +1.2%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

4. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.86
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 9,357
  • Median house price: $600,354
  • Cost of living (compared to average): +15.5%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

3. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 4.92
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 626
  • Median house price: $264,185
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -3.1%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

2. Birmingham-Hoover, AL

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 5.12
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 557
  • Median house price: $234,645
  • Cost of living (compared to average): -7.4%

Photo credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

1. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida

  • Concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000): 5.21
  • Total number of hardware, furniture and appliance stores: 3,196
  • Median house price: $430,068
  • Cost of living (compared to average): +10.0%

Detailed results and methodology

The data used in this analysis comes from the US Census Bureau US business statistics survey, Zillow’s Home Value Indexand the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional rate parities. To determine the best locations for do-it-yourselfers, the researchers calculated the concentration of hardware, furniture and appliance stores (per 10,000 inhabitants). In the event of a tie, the location with the most total number of hardware, furniture, and appliance stores was ranked higher. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants were included. Additionally, metros were grouped into cohorts based on population size: small (100,000 to 349,999), medium (350,000 to 999,999), and large (1,000,000 or more).

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