Less than a month into 2017, integrators already have more than a few reasons to be optimistic about the new year.
Just for starters, CE Pro's 2017 State of the Industry research report is full of good news about rising consumer awareness, housing starts and home sales.
We're not the only optimistic ones. The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), released this week by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, projects that annual growth in home improvement and repair expenditures will remain elevated throughout 2017.
LIRA expects to see spending levels ending the year up 6.7 percent at $317 billion, on par with 6.9 percent growth estimated for 2016.
This sustained momentum could be attributed to several key economic changes: low unemployment, rising stock market, increasing home sales and rising equity. (Learn more in State of Industry report.)
“Growth in home prices is continuing at a healthy pace and encouraging homeowners to make remodeling investments,” says Chris Herbert, managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “Home sales are remaining on an upward trajectory, as well, and this coupled with continued growth in remodeling permit activity suggests another strong year for home improvements.”
“Although above-average growth is expected this year, we’ve lowered our projection for market size somewhat with the recent release of new benchmark data from the American Housing Survey,” says Abbe Will, research analyst in the Remodeling Futures Program. “Spending in 2014 and 2015 was not quite as robust as our LIRA model estimated, growing 11.3 percent over these two years compared to 14.3 percent as estimated.”
The Joint Center for Housing Studies plans to release its latest report on the remodeling industry, Improving America’s Housing 2017: Remodeling for a New Generation, on February 28. It's already projecting that changing household demographics may support healthy growth in the industry over the coming decade as baby boomers age in place and Millennials move into homeownership.