Sales of outdoor power equipment accounted for half of all the dollars spent on home improvement from August 2011 to July 2012, according to data from the NPD Group

Total home improvement dollars increased by 7% when comparing the 12 months ended July 2012 with the previous 12 months, according to consumer research from The NPD Group.

The units of home improvement items sold grew less than 2%, according to the Port Washington, N.Y.-based research firm. 

Much of the unit growth in the home improvement industry was driven by hand tools, the second largest segment based on unit sales after storage and organization. Hand tools saw an 8% increase in units between August 2011 and July 2012.

In the storage and organization category, female spending increased 6%, while male spending slightly declined.

NPD’s Consumer Tracking Service also found that more than half of the home improvement dollar growth between August 2011 and July 2012 came from outdoor power equipment, the largest segment on a dollar basis, with double-digit increases in dollar sales over the previous 12-month period.

Both men and women increased their home improvement spending by 7% between August 2011 and July 2012.

Edit note: RLD spent time with several key players in the hand-held market in our Fall 2011 Perspectives feature.