The remodeling industry is turning a corner and annual consumer spending for home improvement should start to rise in the beginning of next year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.
“Remodeling spending by homeowners shows early signs of stabilization,” says Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “While the housing recovery has been erratic, a strengthening economy could produce spending increases on home improvement projects by the second quarter of next year.”
Some positive signs are already emerging. “Favorable financing costs - for those households with access to credit - and a pickup in homes sales are producing more opportunities for home improvement projects,” says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Several factors, however, still impede remodeling growth. “A generally weak housing market with unstable prices, near record levels of foreclosures, and other distressed sales are discouraging households from undertaking nonessential remodeling projects,” Baker said.
The Remodeling Futures Program, initiated by the Joint Center for Housing Studies in 1995, is a comprehensive study of the factors influencing the growth and changing characteristics of housing renovation and repair activity in the United States. The Program seeks to produce a better understanding of the home improvement industry and its relationship to the broader residential construction industry.