Thursday, August 18

Remodeling Industry Continues To Recover, According to Harvard Study

According to a new study recently released by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the slow recovery of the home remodeling industry is expected to continue, but that the recovery process could take a while.

After the housing market was hit by the recession in 2008, secondary industries (like the home remodeling business) were also impacted quite severely. However, unlike the housing market, which has regained health quite suddenly in the past couple of years, the remodeling business is expected to continue its slow trajectory of recovery throughout 2015.

The Harvard study used an algorithm called the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) which calculated the numbers of remodeling projects, along with homeowner spending habits on remodeling projects, in order to predict that the industry would see about 3.1% in growth during 2015.

Chris Herbert, the acting managing director of Harvard’s Joint Center, noted that increased employment rates will likely help out the remodeling industry, and despite the (very) slow recovery rate, the remodeling industry is still looking fairly healthy for the coming year.

Perhaps the recession is still fresh in the minds of homeowners, however; the news of the remodeling industry’s growth happens to coincide with an examination of the most popular home remodeling projects thus far in 2014, and it appears that homeowners have been picking projects that will increase their home’s value over a long period of time — even if these projects are a bit pricier.

As far as kitchen remodeling goes, homeowners have been focusing on replacing old appliances with energy-efficient models, and have also been focusing on replacing outdated counter tops with granite or quartz counter tops (both of which tend to retain value over time).

For bathroom projects, homeowners put the most amount of money into replacing an old shower or bathtub. Popular newer models also seem to focus on energy efficiency; with a variety of temperature controls and water filtration systems, new bathroom features seek to give residents more control, and these features tend to jump out at buyers before smaller details (like flooring or cabinet materials).

“We at Safe Life Tub believe that this is very true and depictive of the trend in the walk-in bathtub industry. As generations get older and live longer, owning a walk-in bathtub becomes more of a necessity and a life-extending amenity,” says Jack Parker, President, Safe Life Tub.

Regardless of the projects that homeowners are choosing, more remodeling projects are certainly good signs for the general housing market — investing money in home remodeling projects, with an eye for long-term value, is a clear sign of increased consumer confidence.

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