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One needle in the gauge of the health of the housing market is home remodeling activity—more of it means homeowners have not only the financial wherewithal to make improvements, but also confidence in their home as an asset.

According to the latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, home remodeling spending will churn along at a lesser pace through 2017, though still above the historical average. The LIRA projects remodeling spending, totaling roughly $320 billion, will decline from 7.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017 to 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

“Homeowners are continuing to spend more on improvements as house prices strengthen in most parts of the country,” said Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, in a statement on the LIRA. “Yet, recent slowdowns in home sales activity and remodeling permitting suggests improvement spending gains will lose some steam over the course of the year.”

“The remodeling market is approaching a cyclical slowdown after several years of steady recovery,” said Abbe Will, research analyst at the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “While the rate of growth is starting to trend down, national remodeling expenditures by homeowners are projected to reach almost $320 billion by early next year.”

Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

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