“Robust” Home Remodeling Recovery in the Works, Includes Aging in Place Efforts

Home remodeling spending is set to accelerate, according to data collected by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS), and some of that remodeling activity will be related to aging in place.

If past trends are any indication, elderly homeowners will remain “fairly active” in spending on renovation and repairs, says a JCHS blog post

The Center’s Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) projects strong gains in home improvement activity through the end of the year and into the first half of 2013 due to an improving housing market and record low interest rates.

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“The LIRA suggests that the seeds for what appears to be a very robust remodeling recovery has been planted, with annual homeowner improvement spending expected to reach double-digit growth in the first half of 2013,” says JCHS.

During the housing crisis, formerly popular discretionary spending for major kitchen and bathroom remodels or room additions almost completely dried up, according to Will. Post-downtrun, homeowners because to focus more on need-based projects, such as roofing, siding, or windows and doors, along with system and equipment replacements.

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While the LIRA only tracks total improvement spending, not details on project types, it can be safely assumed those projects will include efforts to make homes more suitable for aging in place.

Looking at LIRA projections for a “strong uptick” in annual spending, says Will, “we can only assume that the project mix is changing again to include more discretionary projects, like kitchen and bath and other interior improvements—which would certainly include aging in place retrofits.” 

The JCHS is currently researching age in place trends in more detail, she continues. “It looks to be an area with a lot of potential moving forward with baby boomers entering retirement years now,” she says.

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Written by Alyssa Gerace

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