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Home improvement activity up due to better conditions

Posted on Friday, April 18, 2014 at 8:18:15 AM

Tighter economic conditions have traditionally restricted home improvement spending, with more homeowners opting to save their money rather than invest it back into their properties.

However, that appears to be changing, according to the American Institute of Architects. A recent study from the organization has shown that more owners are spending on their kitchens and baths, a sign that the economy has taken a turn for the better.

"Now that home prices have hit bottom and are beginning to recover, households are more willing to invest in their homes, looking for more features in new homes that they are purchasing, and willing to undertake higher-end home improvement projects," said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Ph.D. "Kitchens and baths tend to be the areas that households first look to when they want to upscale their home as markets improve, just as they remained a high priority even during the depths of the downturn."

Overall, residential architects have noted much improved real estate market conditions, good news for anyone looking to spend some home improvement financing.

In addition, Redfin reported that energy-efficient homes are becoming more popular across the country. Several markets have a high number of green homes for sale, including Chicago, Atlanta and Seattle, among others. These properties often sell for more money.