Third-quarter data compiled by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University indicate that homeowners continue to spend heavily on improving and repairing their homes.

Released in mid-October, the 2004 third-quarter update of the Remodeling Activity Indicator put spending at $129.3 billion over the past four quarters, an increase of more than 5% from the same time last year.

In a press release, Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Joint Center, indicated that job growth and low interest rates are creating favorable conditions for home improvement projects. Kermit Baker, director of the Center's Remodeling Futures program, implied that continued growth is to be expected.

The methodology for computing the RAI has been revised, and so totals for past four-quarter periods have been re-tabulated.

Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies

The RAI is reported quarterly, and spending levels and growth rates each quarter are based on the past four quarters.