Modest Gain Forecast For U.S. Home Improvement

Annual gains in spending for improvements and repairs to U.S. owner-occupied homes are expected to be modestly higher in 2021 compared to last year, says the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) from the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. It projects an uptick in year-over-year growth of home renovation and repair expenditure from 3.5 per cent at the close of 2020 to 3.8 per cent by year-end 2021. “The remodeling market continues to benefit from a strong housing market – including accelerating growth in homebuilding, sales, and home equity,” says Chris Herbert, managing director of the centre. “In addition to routine replacement and repair projects, homeowners are likely to pursue more and larger discretionary home improvements this year as the broader economy recovers.” Its projection for market size in 2021 will be an increase of about $4 billion, or one per cent, to $352 billion.