Remodelling Spend Will Increase Before Slowing

Expenditures for improvements and repairs to the owner-occupied U.S. housing stock are expected to grow throughout 2022 and into early next year, but at a decelerating pace, says the ‘Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA)’ from the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects year-over-year increases in residential renovation and maintenance spending will peak at 19.7 per cent in the third quarter of this year before sliding downward to 15.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2023. “Massive increases in house price appreciation and the resulting levels of tappable home equity will continue to support remodeling activity this year and into next,” says Carlos Martín, project director of the Remodeling Futures Program. “Many other market indicators including existing home sales, renovation permitting, and retail sales of building materials also continue to grow at high, albeit slowing, rates.” The level of annual expenditures for home improvements and repairs is set to expand to nearly $450 billion by the first quarter of 2023. However, the rising costs of project financing, construction materials, and labour, as well as growing concerns about a broader economic slowdown or recession may further slow remodeling growth.