Lawn Care Consumer Insights

Featuring 31 tables and 15 figures – available in Excel and Powerpoint! Learn More

Lawn Care

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic spread to the US in 2020, many consumers had engaged in lawn care as a routine chore or even an enjoyable activity. The US has historically featured a strong lawn culture, where a patch of grass has long been associated with homeownership and good-looking lawns correlate with curb appeal, pride of ownership, and even neighborly competition (keeping up with the Jones’ yard, perhaps). Families also view well-maintained lawns as a good place for children to play.

In the years leading up to the pandemic, both the increase in dual-income families and children’s increasingly busy schedules – which in many cases prevented them from performing lawn care as a chore – led some households to opt for lawn care services. However, as the pandemic began, many employees who could complete their tasks outside of the office transitioned to work-from-home positions. Additionally, even in 2022, many of these individuals have continued to work remotely, at least part-time, allowing more time to maintain lawns themselves.

The pandemic had other effects on lawn care activity as well. For instance, consumers who were concerned about the pandemic as a health risk for themselves or their family and friends were more likely to entertain outdoors at home and thus invest in their lawns. Additionally, many consumers found that lawn care was a good way to relieve stress and anxiety brought on by the pandemic or life changes related to the pandemic.

Where consumers live plays an important role in whether they are likely to have lawns at all. For instance, residents in several of the Western states are dealing with the effects of a long-running drought. Public policy and water utility incentives increasingly encourage residents to remove their conventional lawns for hardscaping, artificial grass, and drought-resistant plants native to the area. Additionally, residents of urban areas are less likely to have lawns to care for, not only due to the condensed living spaces that allow for small, if any, yards for single-family housing, but also because of the prevalence of multifamily housing, which typically does not have individual yards.

This report includes analysis, data, trends, and customized cross tabs related to homeownership and renting, COVID-19, work-from-home trends, and lawn care activity using:

  • proprietary results from the April-May 2020, August 2020, November-December 2020, February-March 2021, June 2021, August-September 2021, October-November 2021, November-December 2021, February 2022, and May 2022 editions of The Freedonia Group National Online Consumer Survey
  • syndicated national consumer survey results from MRI-Simmons Fall 2011-2021 Reports
Historical Demand

Historical Trends

Between 2011 and 2019, homeownership declined slightly from 68% to 65%, despite recoveries in the housing market and the general economy since the 2007-2009 recession. Continued declines in ownership have been due to a lagging recovery for many consumers’ budgets as well as high housing prices that have proved prohibitive for many households. Additionally, the increased migration to urban areas has favored renting over owning. During the same period, the percentage of those renting increased from 30% to 34%.

Since 2019, however, homeownership rose to 71% and rentals declined to 26% as:

  • lower mortgage rates increased the affordability of homeownership
  • pandemic aid gave consumers unexpected income to move housing
  • remote work trends gave consumers the flexibility to move to either a preferred or more affordable location for home buying
  • remote work and remote schooling for many families during the pandemic led more households to look for homes with more space and thus move from smaller rentals to larger owned homes

Homeownership vs. Rental Rates: Annual Household Incomes

In general, the rate of homeownership increases as household incomes rise:

  • Overall, in 2021, 71% of the US population owned a residence.
  • 54% of households earning an annual income of less than $22,000 owned a residence compared to 84% of households earning $115,000 or more.

Rental trends are the opposite of homeownership trends, with rental rates declining as income increases:

  • In 2021, 26% of total US consumers rented their home.
  • 43% of households earning less than $22,000 per year rented compared to 15% making $115,000 or more.

Owned Land & Property Size

The size of owned land around a home affects the ability of a household to expand the size of their home or invest in additional upgrades.

The vast majority of homeowners who own the land around their home own single-family homes. Still, most have relatively small pieces of property:

  • In 2021, 79% of single-family homeowners reported owning less than 1 acre of property:
    • 37% had less than 1/4 acre.
    • 42% had between 1/4 acre and 1 acre.
    • Roughly 11% of single-family homeowners have 1 to 3 acres in any given year, fluctuating between 9% and 11%, while about 9% have 3 acres or more.
  • In 2020 and 2021, there was a notable shift from those with less than 1/4 acre to those with between 1/4 acre and 1 acre as consumers looked for more outdoor space in suburban areas.

Back to Top