CAMBRIDGE, MA – A moderate increase in homeowners’ spending on improvements and repairs is expected for much of the next year as initial concerns about a possible pandemic-induced downturn have largely disappeared, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activities (LIRA)., a near-term outlook of national condominium home improvement and repair spending.
The latest LIRA, released this month by the Remodeling Futures program of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, predicts annual renovation and repair spending growth of 4.1% through the first quarter of 2021, with increases through the third decrease to 1.7% quarter.
“The remodeling market is recovering from the initial shocks caused by the pandemic as homeowners continue to spend significant amounts of time in their home adapting it for work, school and leisure,” said Chris Herbert, executive director of Cambridge, MA-Joint Center. “The rise in DIY and small-project activities is boosting the remodeling market, but it remains to be seen whether the strong sales market this summer will translate into major improvements that would lead to even stronger growth in the coming quarters.”
Annual spending on renovating and repairing the condominium portfolio is expected to increase from about $ 332 billion now to $ 337 billion by the second half of 2021, according to the Joint Center. While growth is forecast to slow down in 2021, the recent surge in home prices and sales activity, including second home purchases, “could further spur remodeling and repairing over the next year,” Harvard forecasters added.
“With refinancing activity on the rise, homeowners are investing in their homes, which sustains strong demand for remodeling,” said Tom Ashley, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers. “With the rapid changes in work and business after the virus-induced recession, households play various functions such as school, office and gym. This has directly increased the demand for improvements. “