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Housing sector growth leads to more home improvements

Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 4:22:33 PM

Homeowner confidence in remodeling has continued to increase alongside the strengthening housing market, according to new data compiled by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. 

Home improvement financing has helped more people afford renovations, and spending on this facet of homeownership has grown, the JCHS noted.

"Homeowners are more comfortable investing in their homes right now," said managing director of the JCHS Eric Belsky. "Consumer confidence scores are back to pre-recession levels, and since recent homebuyers are traditionally the most active in the home improvement market, the growth in sales of existing homes is providing more opportunities for these improvement projects."

The research center recently developed a new method for measuring home improvement spending, called the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, or LIRA. This unique metric illustrated an upward trend, and also projected positive gains to continue.

Even as more projects are completed using home improvement financing, homeowners should be smart about what remodeling projects they choose. In fact, sometimes smaller is better for boosting equity, according to U.S. News. Low-cost upgrades may make a larger profit than some bigger changes.

In addition, curb appeal is always a good idea, the news source stated. The front of a home is a priority - it provides the first impression for potential buyers.