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Report: Remodeling Recovery Is Picking Up Steam
Jan 18, 2013
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Home improvement activity is on-track for a strong recovery in 2013, according to the latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) data from the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

In fact, if LIRA projections hold up, the third quarter of 2013 would be the third-best quarter ever in dollars spent.

The Joint Center pointed to robust spending in the second half of 2012, which indicates the remodeling recovery is underway, and LIRA data projects that annual homeowner improvement spending will show accelerating, double-digit growth in the first nine months of 2013.

"It's encouraging to see the residential sector finally contribute to growth in our economy," says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center. "Through the first three quarters of 2012, investment in the residential sector was responsible for one out of every six dollars added to our GDP. Moving forward, home improvement spending is expected to make an even larger contribution to GDP growth."

Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center, warned that many external economic and political risks could derail the remodeling recovery. "However, the solid momentum behind home building activity, existing home sales, low financing costs, and remodeling contractor sentiment all point to a solid start to the new year for home improvement spending," he said.

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