Homeowners to spend more on home improvements

WASHINGTON — Homeowners are expected to increase spending on improvements and repairs over the coming year.

A report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies projects growth of around 7 percent in remodeling spending.

Annual spending on home improvements and repairs is expected to reach $350 billion by the middle of next year, said Abbe Will, associate project director at the center. Spending for the second quarter was at just over $324 billion.

Will predicts that the low inventory of existing homes for sale is holding back even larger gains, because remodeling and repairs tend to happen around the time of a sale.

Rising home values and increased home equity levels are encouraging more homeowners to take on larger projects, says Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies.

chart of remodeling activity
Here is a look at how remodeling activity will change in the coming years. (Courtesy Joint Center for Housing Studies)

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