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Homeowners hitting the brakes on metro remodeling

Metro markets not expected to sustain levels of home improvement spending.

BY HBSDealer Staff

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 metros are projected to see spending levels decline in 2019, the JCHS 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. Also, 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,” says Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “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,” says Elizabeth La Jeunesse, senior research analyst in the center’s Remodeling Futures Program. “Regionally, the strongest growth in 2019 is expected to be among metros in the West, paced by projected growth of 8% or more in Sacramento, Denver, Seattle, Tucson, San Jose, and Las Vegas.”

The Joint Center for Housing Studies’ Metro Area Home Improvement Projections are released annually in the Spring and provide a short-term outlook of home improvement spending to owner-occupied homes across 50 major metropolitan areas.

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