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Apr 21, 2023

Home Improvement Spend Likely To Slide

After more than a decade of continuous growth, annual spending on improvements and repairs to owner-occupied homes is expected to decline by early next year, says the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) from the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. It projects that year-over-year expenditures for homeowner improvements and maintenance will post a modest decline of 2.8 per cent through the first quarter of 2024. “Higher interest rates and sharp downturns in homebuilding and existing home sales are driving our projections for sluggish remodeling activity next year,” says Carlos Martín, project director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the centre. “With ongoing uncertainty in financial markets and the threat of a recession, homeowners are increasingly likely to pare back or delay projects beyond necessary replacements and repairs.” Homeowner improvement and maintenance spending is expected to top out at $458 billion in the coming year, compared with market spending of $471 billion over the past four quarters. However, strong and steady growth in the number of homes permitted for remodeling projects, as well as a slew of federal incentives for energy-efficiency retrofits may yet buoy remodeling expenditure from steeper declines.

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