Remodeling Construction Landscape Looks Bright, Harvard Study Shows

Home improvement spending is on the upswing, providing a positive indicator for remodeling activity in 2012, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University reported this week. Releasing its Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), the Harvard center says that if momentum continues to build during the second half of this year, remodeling activity will end the year on a positive note.

“We’re beginning to see some hopeful signs in the economy, and the housing market is finally starting its slow recovery,” says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center.  “That should prove helpful for home improvement spending as the year progresses.”

The LIRA indicator shows activity tapering downward in the early part of 2012 with a rebound through the end of the year in line with activity in the end of 2011. The projections suggest the construction landscape is showing improvement, and that as lenders begin to come back into the market, the sector will grow.


“Sales of existing homes have been increasing in recent months, offering more opportunities for home improvement projects,” said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “As lending institutions become less fearful of the real estate sector, financing will become more readily available to owners looking to undertake remodeling.”

View a historical index of of the LIRA indicator.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker