CAMBRIDGE, MA — After several years of double-digit gains, expenditures for improvements and repairs to the owner-occupied housing stock are expected to grow only modestly in 2023, 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 a steep deceleration in annual gains of home renovation and maintenance spending, from 16.3% at the close of 2022 to just 2.6% by year-end 2023.
“Slowdowns in existing-home sales, house price appreciation, and mortgage refinancing activity coupled with growing concerns for a broader economic recession will cool home remodeling activity this year,” said Carlos Martín, project director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Cambridge, MA-based Joint Center.
“Homeowners are likely to pull back on high-end discretionary projects and instead focus their spending on necessary replacements and smaller projects in the immediate future,” Martin added.
But even though the pace of expenditures is expected to slow substantially this year, the Joint Center raised its projection for the remodeling market’s size in 2023 by about $45 billion, or 10.2%, to a near-record $485 billion.
“The massive pandemic-induced changes in housing and lifestyle decisions fueled remodeling and repair spending in 2020 and 2021, growing 23.8% over these two years compared with the 12.5% originally estimated,” said Abbe Will, associate project director of the Remodeling Futures Program.