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Aug. 2, 2010: Remodeling Spending Expected to Increase Moving Into 2011

August 2, 2010
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A recovery in home improvement spending will soon be underway according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Remodeling spending is expected to increase on an annual basis by the end of the year, and the LIRA points to growth accelerating to the double-digit range in the first quarter of 2011.

“Absent a reversal of recent economic progress, there should be a healthy upturn in home improvement activity by year-end and into next year,” said Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Homeowner optimism is said to be bolstering a trend toward investing in the home again. “The recovery in home improvement activity appears to be moving beyond simple replacement projects and energy retrofits to broader remodels and upgrades,” said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “A wider activity base would help generate the expected growth in the quarters ahead.”

The LIRA 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. The LIRA is released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University in the third week after each quarter’s closing. The next LIRA release date is Oct. 21, 2010.

The Remodeling Futures Program is a comprehensive study of the factors influencing the growth and changing characteristics of housing renovation and repair activity in the United States.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies is Harvard University’s center for information and research on housing in the United States. The Joint Center analyzes the dynamic relationships between housing markets and economic, demographic, and social trends. For more information, visit www.jchs.harvard.edu.

Publication date: 08/02/2010

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