After a slow start, home improvement spending is expected to trend up later in 2012, 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. It's a significant turnaround in the LIRA outlook – as of October 2011, the Joint Center was predicting the market would decrease dramatically during the first two quarters of 2012.
The Joint Center said that, if momentum builds during the second half of 2012, remodeling activity could end 2012 on a positive note.
“We’re beginning to see some hopeful signs in the economy, and the housing market is finally starting its slow recovery,” said Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center. “That should prove helpful for home improvement spending as the year progresses.”
“Sales of existing homes have been increasing in recent months, offering more opportunities for home improvement projects,” said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “As lending institutions become less fearful of the real estate sector, financing will become more readily available to owners looking to undertake remodeling.”
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