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Harvard Expects Remodeling Recovery in 2011
Feb 1, 2011
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Following a three-year downturn, a sustainable recovery for the remodeling industry is expected in 2011, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects annual growth in home improvement spending of 6.5% in the third quarter of 2011.

“Favorable interest rates, a pickup in home sales, and the strengthening economy should lead to healthy gains in remodeling spending this year,” says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center.

“After an initial burst in activity, the recovery may lose some steam later in the year as continuing problems with weak house prices and large numbers of distressed properties keep home improvement gains in check,” says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “But the overall trend is for continued growth in 2011.”

The LIRA is designed to estimate national homeowner spending on improvements for the current quarter and subsequent three quarters. The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-change of its components, provides a short-term outlook of homeowner remodeling activity and is intended to help identify future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement industry.

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