LIRA: Remodeling Spending To Slow In 2019

Annual growth in the national market for home improvement and repair is expected to slow by the end of the year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

The LIRA projects that gains in renovation and repair spending to owner-occupied homes in the U.S. will shrink from 7.5% in 2018 to 5.1% in 2019.

“Slowing house price appreciation, flat home sales activity, and rising mortgage interest rates are deflating owners’ interest in making major investments in home improvements this year,” said Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “Continued slowdowns in homebuilding, sales of building materials, and remodeling permits all point to a more challenging environment for home remodeling in 2019.”

“Despite the growing headwinds, improvement and repair spending is still set to expand this year to over $350 billion,” added Abbe Will, associate project director in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “But after several years of stronger-than-average increases, the pace of growth in remodeling activity is expected to fall back to the market’s historical average annual gain of 5.2%.”