Annual gains in homeowner improvement and maintenance spending are set to accelerate in the second half of the year and remain elevated through mid-year 2022, according to our latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA).
As the US economy continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic, households that weathered the crisis without financial distress are snapping up the limited supply of homes for sale, pushing up prices and further excluding less affluent buyers from homeownership. At the same time, millions who lost income are behind on housing payments and on the brink of eviction or foreclosure.
With funding from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, 15 students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) will study and work on a host of pressing issues related to housing and community development this summer.
While the US economy shrank by 3.5 percent in 2020, spending on home improvements and repairs grew more than 3 percent, to nearly $420 billion, as households modified living spaces for work, school, and leisure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Annual gains in spending for improvements and repairs to owner-occupied homes are expected to be modestly higher in 2021 compared to last year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA).
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