Remodeling Gains to Slide Lower Through Mid-Year 2023

Annual growth in homeowner spending for improvements and repairs is expected to soften during the first half of next 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 year-over-year gains in remodeling expenditures to owner-occupied homes will decelerate from 17.4 percent in 2022 to 10.1 percent by the second quarter of 2023.

“Slowing sales of existing homes, rising mortgage interest rates, and moderating house price appreciation are expected to dampen owners’ investments in home improvements and maintenance over the coming year,” says Carlos Martín, project director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Center. “Steep slowdowns in homebuilding, retail sales of building materials, and renovation permits all also point to a cooling environment for residential remodeling.”

“While beginning to soften, growth in spending for home improvements and repairs is expected to remain well above the market’s historical average of five percent,” says Abbe Will, associate project director of the Remodeling Futures Program. “In the first half of 2023, annual remodeling expenditures are still set to expand to nearly $450 billion.”

The LIRA provides a short-term outlook of national home improvement and repair spending to owner-occupied homes. The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-change of its components, is designed to project the annual rate of change in spending for the current quarter and subsequent four quarters, and is intended to help identify future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement and repair industry. Originally developed in 2007, the LIRA was re-benchmarked in April 2016 to a broader market measure based on the biennial American Housing Survey.

The LIRA is released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University in the third week after each quarter’s closing. The next LIRA release date is October 20, 2022.

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