PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – A record number of people are renovating their homes, and some builders think the pandemic might be the cause. Numbers from January to April of this year show the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office saw more than 19,000 building permits. That’s almost double the amount of permits compared to previous years.

“The numbers that we’ve seen, is that half of it is new construction and half of it is renovation,” said Maricopa County Assessor Eddie Cook. 

More Arizonans are renovating their homes instead of buying a new one.

Cullum Homes does renovations and builds houses. It’s seeing a renovation boom as well. “We have right now about 14 active renovation jobs, which is about double what we normally have,” said Rod Cullum, founder of Cullum Homes.

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With the pandemic prompting many people to work from home, Cullum said his clients are building more rooms, like offices, onto houses they already own. “We see an uptick in homeschooling,” said Cullum. “We see an uptick in boomerang kids coming home.”

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In many cases, Cullum said it’s cheaper for people to remodel than buy a new house. “Home values have gone up so much that people are kind of having sticker shock right now,” said Cullum. “They’re saying maybe the home I live in is the right home for me, so I’m going to renovate it instead of fighting this battle trying to buy a new home.”

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