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In the wake of the great depression, Americans can only do enough to maintain their homes but with the improving economy, they are starting to spend on spa-like bathrooms, backyard decks and other vanity improvements. The amount that people spend on renovations is expected to reach $325 billion this year, a level that has not been reached since 2007. This statistic is courtesy of Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies including the prediction that the industry will fully recover by summer after 12 straight quarters of steady growth.
The prediction proves to be very bright for the remodeling industry. It is anticipated that the remodeling industry will improve even further with consumer confidence, an improving economy and an aging housing stock. Neighborhoods with high levels of remodeling activities have stronger levels of price appreciations than areas with lesser activity.
According to Abbe Will, a research analyst at Harvard’s Joint Center, there are two big reasons for the surge in home remodeling; the rising sales of previously owned homes and increasing prices. Sales of existing homes have risen to 3.2% in June, its highest pace since February 2007. The level is 9.6% higher than a year ago and this pushed the national median sales price to a record of $236,400. According to the latest Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller national home price index values have increased by approximately 28.4% since February 2012 when the prices bottomed after the downturn.
Previous researches have also shown that remodeling usually occurs around the time of sale, either before the sale or within a couple years after the sale. The goal of sellers is to gain a higher price while recent buyers make renovations when they do not like their new home.