HIA: Shrinkflation Hits Kitchen and Bathrooms

HIA has released the HIA Kitchen and Bathrooms Report 2023-24 and one of the main findings is that the size of a typical bathroom has fallen as home renovators and builders scale back their renovation ambitions.

HIA chief economist Tim Reardon says that shrinkflation is evident across the economy as households bear the cost of higher mortgage repayments.


“Affordability and value have become stronger considerations for households looking to renovate or build a new kitchen or bathroom,” he says.

“This adjustment in consumer behaviour is evident in bathrooms more than kitchens. Each new home built in 2023 has on average two bathrooms, down from 2.6 per home in the previous year.”

The building and renovation boom, which started around the pandemic, saw kitchens increase in size with more appliances and premium fittings.

“Overall, the renovations market is cooling from the record peak of recent years but remains strong due to the low level of unemployment, house price growth and limited quality housing stock available to purchase,” Tim explains.

“During the pandemic, the cost of a new kitchen or bathroom rose as households sought larger living and work-from-home spaces. The cost of a new kitchen and bathroom is continuing to rise, but this time it is due to higher construction costs.”

Additionally, the report finds that renovation jobs have been constrained with a majority of bathroom jobs involving the same or an even smaller footprint.

“More than half of these jobs last year involved expanding bathroom spaces,” Tim says.

“In contrast, the majority of kitchen renovations in 2023 resulted in an increase in the footprint of the kitchen. The cost of construction will stabilise this year as global supply chains are restored and labour shortages ease.”

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