After several quarters of slackening growth, home improvement spending is projected to pick-up pace moving into 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 annual spending growth for home improvements will accelerate from 2.4% last quarter to 6.8% in the second quarter of 2016.
Home improvement spending continues to benefit from the last years’ upswing in housing market conditions, including new construction, price gains, and sales. Strengthening housing market conditions are encouraging owners to invest in more discretionary home improvements, such as kitchen and bath remodeling and room additions, in addition to the necessary replacements of worn components such as roofing and siding.
Although we expect remodeling activity to strengthen through the first half of 2016, further gains could be tempered. Current slowdowns in shipments of building materials and remodeling contractor employment trends, as well as restrictive consumer lending environments, are lowering remodeler sentiment and could keep spending gains in the mid-single digit range moving forward.
The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) is designed to estimate national homeowner spending on improvements for the current quarter and subsequent three quarters. For more information about the LIRA, including how it is calculated, please visit the LIRA page on the Joint Center’s website. The LIRA is released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies in the third week after each quarter’s closing.