Spending on renovations should experience “healthy growth” in 2012, according to the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. In their quarterly forecast, called the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), the researchers pointed to stronger pending home sales and continuing low interest rates as contributors to an expected 5.9% rise in spending on home remodeling projects this year.
“Hopefully, we’re finally moving beyond simple volatility in the home improvement spending numbers to a period of sustained growth,” said Eric Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center. “The recent upturn we’ve seen in home sales should translate into more remodeling activity later this year.”
Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center, added: “Unusually mild weather this past winter in many parts of the country accelerated the pace of homebuilding and home improvement activity. This may produce a brief pause in remodeling activity this quarter, but then a strengthening economy should provide a foundation for continued growth moving forward.”