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Northeast tops regions for home improvement spending

Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 5:08:01 PM

Chances are a homeowner in the Northeast will spend much more money on a remodeling project than he or she would anywhere else in the country. 

A study released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University found that homeowners have historically spent the most on improvement projects in metro areas and in the Northeast. Home improvement spending was most expensive in coastal cities, such as Providence, Boston, Philadelphia and New York, which lead the way in terms of remodeling spending. Washington, D.C. and Boston were the top areas for spending.

San Francisco and San Jose were the top two West Coast markets. Conversely, areas where homeowners spent relatively little on remodeling projects include Richmond, St. Louis and Chicago.

In 2013, in the largest 50 markets homeowners spent an average of $3,000 on projects. These markets accounted for close to 60 percent of all home improvement spending in the country, while the top 15 comprised one-third of all remodeling costs. 

Generally, there is a direct relationship between home values and owners' financial resources, and the amount that they are willing to spend on projects. People in more expensive homes, with larger salaries, are generally willing to spend much more on home improvement projects.

This is a key reason why the Northeast is near the top of the list. Thankfully, affordable home improvement financing can help offset the costs of a remodeling project.