Harvard Study: Spending on Home Remodeling is Expected to Accelerate

July 21, 2016 GMT

A Sun Staff Report

CAMBRIDGE -- Remodeling activity among homeowners is expected to accelerate over the coming year, according to the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, which was released Thursday by Harvard, quarterly spending on home remodeling across the nation is expected to surpass $300 billion for the first time this quarter, which runs from July 1 to Sept. 30.

The $302.9 billion estimated to be spent this quarter is 6.2 percent higher than the $285.2 billion spent during the third quarter of 2015.

Furthermore, researchers predict that year-over-year growth is expected to accelerate to 8 percent by the first quarter of 2017, when spending is expected to total $314.5 billion.

Researchers cite a healthier housing market, with rising prices and increased sales activity, to trigger the growth in remodeling.

“As more homeowners are enticed to list their properties, we can expect increased remodeling and repair in preparation for sales, coupled with spending by the new owners who are looking to customize their homes to fit their needs,” said Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center, in a statement.

Research analyst Abbe Will added that by the middle of next year, the national remodeling market should be “very close to a full recovery from its worst downturn on record.”

“Annual spending is set to reach $321 billion by then, which after adjusting for inflation is just shy of the previous peak set in 2006 before the housing crash.”