After several years of solid acceleration, annual growth in national home improvement and repair spending is expected to soften in 2019, according to our latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA). The LIRA projects that year-over-year increases in residential remodeling expenditures will reach a decade high of 7.7 percent this year and then start to drift downward to 6.6 percent through the third quarter of 2019.
Rising mortgage interest rates and flat home sales activity around much of the country are expected to pinch otherwise very strong growth in homeowner remodeling spending moving forward. Low for-sale inventories are presenting a headwind because home sales tend to spur investments in remodeling and repair both before a sale and in the years following.
Even so, many other remodeling market indicators including home prices, permit activity, and retail sales of building materials continue to strengthen and will support above-average gains in spending next year. Through the third quarter of 2019, annual expenditures for residential improvements and repairs by homeowners is still expected to grow to over $350 billion nationally.
For more information, visit the LIRA page of our website.