Annual gains in US home improvement and maintenance spending projected to decline from 17.4% in 2022 to 10.1% by Q2 2023; annual expenditures to expand to nearly US$450B in H1 2023: JCHS

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CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts , July 21, 2022 (press release) –

Annual growth in homeowner spending for improvements and repairs is expected to soften during the first half of next year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects year-over-year gains in remodeling expenditures to owner-occupied homes will decelerate from 17.4 percent in 2022 to 10.1 percent by the second quarter of 2023.

“Slowing sales of existing homes, rising mortgage interest rates, and moderating house price appreciation are expected to dampen owners’ investments in home improvements and maintenance over the coming year,” says Carlos Martín, Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Center. “Steep slowdowns in homebuilding, retail sales of building materials, and renovation permits all also point to a cooling environment for residential remodeling.”

“While beginning to soften, growth in spending for home improvements and repairs is expected to remain well above the market’s historical average of 5 percent,” says Abbe Will, Associate Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program. “In the first half of 2023, annual remodeling expenditures are still set to expand to nearly $450 billion.”

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The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) provides a short-term outlook of national home improvement and repair spending to owner-occupied homes. The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-change of its components, is designed to project the annual rate of change in spending for the current quarter and subsequent four quarters, and is intended to help identify future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement and repair industry. Originally developed in 2007, the LIRA was re-benchmarked in April 2016 to a broader market measure based on the biennial American Housing Survey.

The LIRA is released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University in the third week after each quarter’s closing. The next LIRA release date is October 20, 2022.

The Remodeling Futures Program, initiated by the Joint Center for Housing Studies in 1995, is a comprehensive study of the factors influencing the growth and changing characteristics of housing renovation and repair activity in the United States. The Program seeks to produce a better understanding of the home improvement industry and its relationship to the broader residential construction industry.

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies advances understanding of housing issues and informs policy. Through its research, education, and public outreach programs, the Center helps leaders in government, business, and the civic sectors make decisions that effectively address the needs of cities and communities. Through graduate and executive courses, as well as fellowships and internship opportunities, the Center also trains and inspires the next generation of housing leaders.

Contact: Kerry Donahue, 617-495-7640, kerry_donahue@harvard.edu

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