Sluggish Economy to Curb Home Improvement Activity into 2012

Home improvement spending and activity is down and will continue to lag for the next several quarters, thanks to a sluggish economy and housing market, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

“After pulling through the worst of the downturn in home improvement spending, we appear to be entering another period of softening,” says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center.  “The ups and downs in the economy are being reflected in home improvement activity.”

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Until the housing market improves, it’s unlikely homeowners will start many huge remodeling projects, and activity is expected to remain slow through the first half of 2012.

“Absent a more sustained upturn in the broader housing market, particularly in the sales of existing homes, there’s not much to propel growth in home improvement spending,” says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center.  “Homeowners are continuing to undertake smaller jobs, but are still nervous about larger discretionary projects.”

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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