Home improvement projects to surge in number in the US?

If you’re one of the many people looking to get the most out of your home this winter – or perhaps deferring any tasks until next spring – then you’re not alone. According to the latest statistics, it appears that more and more people are seeing the value in their own homes, getting away from the usual desire to simply sell their house after a few patch jobs.


Despite a few years of terrible news in the housing sector, a leading institution on the US’ eastern seaboard has claimed that major spending on home remodelling will take place during the fourth quarter of this year, while there would also be continued growth during 2013.

According to a Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) report released this month by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, Q4 of this year should see no less than $120.7 billion (£750 million) in spending on home improvements. This is effectively six per cent more than the four previous quarters, when spending averaged just between $114 billion and $115 billion (£708 million to £715 million).

However, by Q1 of 2013, the figure is expected to jump by a massive 12.1 per cent to nearly $129 billion (£800 million), and no less than 16.6 per cent in Q2 2013 to take this figure to $134.2 billion (£834 million), according to LIRA. It means that the 2013 climb will be a stark contrast to the low of $110.7 billion (£683 million) registered in 2011 – 21.2 per cent difference, in fact.

The figure is still a little way off from the peak remodelling period between 2006 and 2007, when spending reached as much as $146 billion (£907 million); still, it is credit to the improving global housing market, where record-low interest rates and improving mortgage deals are driving gains in remodelling activity even beyond the States.

Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center, said: “Strong growth in sales of existing homes and housing starts, coupled with historically low financing costs, have typically been associated with an upturn in home remodelling activity some months later. While the housing market has faced some unique challenges in recent years, this combination is expected to produce a favourable outlook for home improvement spending over the coming months.”



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