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Harvard study sees home improvement recovery slowing in 2014

A report from the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, issued last week, predicts a slowdown for the recovering home improvement market in mid-2014.

The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) report does foresee strong continued double-digit gains for the remainder of the year and the beginning of 2014, spending is expected to peak in the first quarter of next year at $148.9 billion and then fall to $147.9 billion in Q2.

“The soft patch that homebuilding has seen in recent months, coupled with rising financing costs, is expected to be reflected as slower growth in home improvement spending beginning around the middle of next year,” said Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center.

Belsky added that remodeling activity is expected to remain strong, and with home prices and existing-home sales continuing an upward trend, homeowners are poised to regain lost equity.

“In the near term, homeowner spending on improvements is expected to see its strongest growth since the height of the housing boom,” added Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center.

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