Steep slowdown projected in home improvements

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Growth in residential remodeling spending is expected to slow considerably by the middle of next year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity report compiled by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

The LIRA projects that annual gains in homeowner expenditures for improvements and repairs will shrink from 6.3 percent in the current quarter to just 0.4 percent by the second quarter of 2020.

“Declining home sales and homebuilding activity coupled with slower gains in permitting for improvement projects will put the brakes on remodeling growth over the coming year,” Chris Herbert, the center’s managing director, said in a statement. “However, if falling mortgage interest rates continue to incentivize home sales, refinancing, and ultimately remodeling activity, the slowdown may soften some.”

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