Momentum Seen for Home Improvement Spending
Spendingrnon home improvements and remodeling have shown signs of a rebound and thernRemodeling Futures Program at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies isrnprojecting that sector of the economy will end 2012 on a positive note.</p
ThernJoint Center produces the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) eachrnquarter. It is designed to estimaternnational homeowner spending on improvements for the current quarter and thernfollowing three quarters. The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-changernof its components, provides a short-term outlook of homeowner remodelingrnactivity and is intended to help identify future turning points in the businessrncycle of the home improvement industry. </p
Thernfigures from the most recent quarter, the fourth quarter of 2011, showed anrnestimated four-quarter moving total of $112.4 billion in home improvementrnspending compared to $113.8 billion in the third quarter. This number is expected to dip further in thernfirst quarter of 2012, to $108.1 billion before starting to build at mid-year. </p
“Sales of existing homes have been increasingrnin recent months, offering more opportunities for home improvement projects,”rnsays Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the JointrnCenter. “As lending institutions become less fearful of the real estaternsector, financing will become more readily available to owners looking tornundertake remodeling.”</p
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