Courtesy of Adobe Stock
Courtesy of Adobe Stock

While recent reports from the Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Residential Remodeling Index raise caution about the future growth of the remodeling industry, the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) remains optimistic about the industry in 2019. Forbes, reporting on HIRI's quarterly Project Sentiment Tracking Survey, highlights several factors for the institute's positive take on the short-term future of the remodeling industry.

“About 75% of homeowners are planning one or more projects in the next three months. This is the highest project planning incidence since tracking began in 2012,” the group reports.

HIRI founding member Lowe’s sees this in its stores as well, according to executive vice president of merchandising Bill Boltz. “While fewer people are buying new homes this year, we have seen this offset by strong home economic price growth—and that means homeowners are spending more to improve, refresh and repair their current homes.”

“Top motivators for projects include repair, replacement and routine maintenance,” HIRI’s survey says.

“Given that the average home in the U.S. is about 40 years old, we see a great deal of support for ongoing repair and maintenance work,” Boltz notes, “especially when coupled with consumers feeling their homes are appreciating.”

"The average homeowner plans to complete 4.3 projects in the next three months,” HIRI’s survey predicts.

Raf Howery, founder and CEO of home remodeling research platform Kukun, tracks home improvement projects through permits pulled with local building departments. His data show 1.73 projects already permitted per unique address. The remaining projects HIRI is predicting may not require permits, like fixture and finish updates, or they’re still on the wish, rather than the immediate to do, list.

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