Remodeling Expenditures Drop

Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies says the estimated recent growth of homeowner remodeling spending has eased substantially but still remains near its long-term rate of 5 percent.

May 01, 2006

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EPA Extends Lead Deadline

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Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies says the estimated recent growth of homeowner remodeling spending has eased substantially but still remains near its long-term rate of 5 percent. According to the Remodeling Activity Indicator devised by Harvard's JCHS, homeowners spent an estimated 155 billion dollars on home improvements and repairs over the past four quarters, representing a 4.5 percent increase.

"Rising interest rates and a cooling housing market have started to impact spending on home improvements," said Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the JCHS. "Delays in initiating major improvement projects are likely to moderate spending over the next year."

"Remodeling contractors recently have reported a slight decline in hours worked by their employees, and more modest growth in their payrolls" said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program of the JCHS. "This points to remodeling following home building into a period of slower growth in the months ahead."

The next RAI release date is July 20.

 

EPA Extends Lead Deadline

The EPA has extended to May 25 the public comment period for its proposed Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Program rule, which the NAHB Remodelors Council had requested in order to continue testing exposures caused by renovation activities and the effectiveness of the EPA's proposed lead-safe work-practice ruling.

NAHB contends that the rule will not accomplish the intended goal of reducing lead paint exposure among small children because it applies only to professionals paid to make renovations and not to homeowners, who do the work themselves more than half the time.

As they are passed on to consumers, the extra costs of materials and training needed to comply with the proposed lead-safe work practices is likely to encourage more unregulated do-it-yourself renovation, according to NAHB.

"The unintended consequence of making it more difficult to hire a remodeler may leave even more children with the potential for exposure,"said Remodelors Council chairman Vince Butler, CGR, CAPS.

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