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04/21/2022

Remodeling spending: Growing but slowing

The latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity shows a third-quarter spending peak.
A look at the trajectory of home improvement and remodeling spending from the JCHS. (Click to enlarge.)

Remodeling and repair spending is expected to slow down for the remainder of the year and into next year, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS).

According to the latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the JCHS, expenditures for improvements and repairs to the owner-occupied housing stock are expected to grow throughout 2022 and into early next year, but at a decelerating pace

The LIRA projects year-over-year increases in residential renovation and maintenance spending will peak at 19.7% in the third quarter of this year before sliding downward to 15.1% in the first quarter of 2023.

“Massive increases in house price appreciation and the resulting levels of tappable home equity will continue to support remodeling activity this year and into next,” said Carlos Martín, project director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Center. “Many other market indicators including existing home sales, renovation permitting, and retail sales of building materials also continue to grow at high, albeit slowing, rates.” 

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Remodeling JCHS

“The level of annual expenditures for home improvements and repairs is set to expand to nearly $450 billion by the first quarter of 2023,” says Abbe Will, Associate Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program. “Yet, the rising costs of project financing, construction materials, and labor, as well as growing concerns about a broader economic slowdown or recession may further slow remodeling growth.” 

The LIRA provides a short-term outlook of national home improvement and repair spending to owner-occupied homes. 

The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-change of its components, is designed to project the annual rate of change in spending for the current quarter and subsequent four quarters, and is intended to help identify future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement and repair industry.