Homeowners spent $130.4 billion remodeling their homes in 2003, according to the latest Remodeling Activity Indicator (RAI) released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. That represents growth of more than 7% from 2002.

The RAI only tracks money spent by people who own their homes, and it is therefore not an indication of the total amount spent on remodeling in 2003.

The indicator was sparked by a strong second half of home sales and resulting "move-in" renovations, according to Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Joint Center.

Kermit Baker, senior research fellow at the Joint Center and director of its Remodeling Futures program, says that more growth is on the horizon. "With an improving economy, home improvement activity is expected to see even further gains in 2004," he said in a press release.