According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), the home remodeling market is expected to achieve double-digit gains in the first half of 2014. The study, released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) of Harvard University, reflects sellers’ confidence in the housing market, as they take on full remodeling of Chicago homes as home prices and homes sales improve.

Spending Expected

Kerry Donahue from the JCHS, cites two directors from the Joint Center, to highlight the housing (and home improvement) direction for this year:


“The ongoing growth that we’ve seen in home prices, housing starts, and existing home sales is also being reflected in home improvement activity,” says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center. “As owners gain more confidence in the housing market, they are likely to undertake home improvements that they have deferred.”


“However, the strong growth for this cycle may start to ebb a bit beginning around midyear,” says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center.  “By that time, we’ll be approaching the pre-recessionary levels of spending, and with borrowing costs starting to creep back up, growth rates are likely to slow some.”


Comparing its data with those from the US Census Bureau, the JCHS indicated that a 14.7% rise in renovation spending will occur until the 2nd quarter of 2014. This is about a 15 percent rate change, totaling $147.6 billion compared to $128.7 billion dollars from the 4th quarter of last year, according to the latest US Census data. However, the Joint Center also projects that by the 3rd quarter of 2014, the market might see a spending drop of 9.9 percent from the previous quarter.


Top Chicago remodeling contractors, along with homeowners, confident of the robust market, are gearing up to capitalize on those positive numbers. Since home remodeling is on the upswing, there’ll be more projects going around for experienced home improvement contractors, such as DAL Builders, to help sellers raise the value of their homes.


A popular small remodeling project, for instance, involves tearing down some walls, such as the wall between a dining room and a living room, to create the illusion of more space. In place of the wall, a homeowner might install a condiment island or bar, a more subtle divider than a wall. Those who are planning to remodel their home should also consider environment-friendly designs, whether in interior layout or selecting furniture and fixtures. Landscaping may also feature the use of energy-efficient LED lighting. There are many interesting interior designs trending this year; before you take the remodeling plunge, take a look and decide whether you’re going classic or, perhaps, you can take a bit more bling into your home.


(Source: Double-Digit Growth in Remodeling Spending Expected Through Mid-Year, Kerry Donahue, January 16, 2014)

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