Slower remodeling activity projected in metros

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Annual gains in homeowner spending on improvements are expected to moderate across more than half of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas in 2019, according to new projections released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

While no major metropolitan areas are projected to see spending levels decline in 2019, the center’s model indicates that the pace of spending by homeowners will slow in 29 of the 49 major metros tracked relative to their estimated 2018 gains. Annual growth in improvement expenditures is projected to fall to the lowest rate in three years in nearly half (22) of these metros.

“Metros with cooling home prices and sales activity are not able to sustain the same pace of investment in home improvements as in recent years,” Chris Herbert, the center’s managing director, said in a statement. “Our projections show especially pronounced slowing in markets such as San Antonio, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Dallas.”

“Despite the broader deceleration, remodeling gains should remain strong and even accelerate through year-end in some areas of the country including Orlando and Las Vegas where remodeling permitting, house prices, and homebuilding have picked up,” added Elizabeth La Jeunesse, the center’s senior research analyst. “Regionally, the strongest growth in 2019 is expected to be among metros in the West, paced by projected growth of 8 percent or more in Sacramento, Denver, Seattle, Tucson, San Jose, and Las Vegas.”

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