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Prospects for remodeling are strong

Substantive growth in remodeling spending, coming off a three-year decline, seems likely in 2011, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Even though spending is still below its 2007 peak, the LIRA indicates that homeowner improvement spending is expected to be up at a double-digit pace at an annual rate through the first half of 2011.

“The downturn in home improvement activity has pushed spending below its long-term trend,” says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Cambridge, Mass.-based Joint Center for Housing Studies. “A recovering economy should stabilize house prices and consumer confidence levels, encouraging homeowners to reinvest in their homes and undertake deferred repairs and replacements.”

“Remodeling contractors are feeling much more positive about the outlook for home improvement projects,” said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “Low financing costs and a wave of previously foreclosed homes coming back on the market and in need of renovation are expected to generate healthy growth over the next several quarters.”

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