Double-digit growth predicted in remodeling spending

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The home remodeling market should see strong growth in 2014, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

The double-digit gains in annual home improvement spending projected for the first half of the year should moderate some to just under 10 percent by the third quarter.

“The ongoing growth that we’ve seen in home prices, housing starts, and existing home sales is also being reflected in home improvement activity,” the center’s managing director Eric S. Belsky said in a statement. “As owners gain more confidence in the housing market, they are likely to undertake home improvements that they have deferred.”

“However, the strong growth for this cycle may start to ebb a bit beginning around midyear,” Remodeling Futures Program director Kermit Baker said. “By that time, we’ll be approaching the pre-recessionary levels of spending and, with borrowing costs starting to creep back up, growth rates are likely to slow some.”

The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity is designed to estimate national homeowner spending on improvements for the current quarter and subsequent three quarters. The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-change of its components, provides a short-term outlook of homeowner remodeling activity and is intended to help identify future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement industry.

For information, visit www.jchs.harvard.edu.

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