April 21, 2016

Re-Benchmarking the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity

Abbe Will

Since 2007, the Joint Center for Housing Studies has projected short-term trends in home remodeling activity with its quarterly Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, or LIRA. In recent years, the quality and reliability of the LIRA’s benchmark data series declined markedly, prompting a re-benchmarking of the LIRA to a measure of home improvement and repair spending based on estimates from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s biennial American Housing Survey.

The main difference between the former and rebenchmarked LIRA is that the former LIRA projected trends in home improvement spending only, whereas the re-benchmarked LIRA now tracks a broader remodeling market that includes both improvements and maintenance and repair activity. For this reason, the rebenchmarked LIRA is somewhat less cyclical, but still anticipates turning points in the market well.

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For more information on the LIRA, see the LIRA FAQ page

Category: Research Notes

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