Home fix-up budgets increase by 5% this year

REAL ESTATE WATCH

May 07, 2000

Americans plan to invest more money to fix up their homes this year, according to the 2000 American Express Retail Index on home improvement.

The survey found that household budgets for home improvement projects rose 5 percent over 1999 to an average of $2,888.

While the number of Americans planning projects remained steady at 39 percent, the survey found that more homeowners are undertaking multiple projects as well as those that require bigger budgets.

"In many parts of the country, the tight housing market makes it difficult for consumers to purchase a new home," said Valerie Soranno, vice president and general manager of American Express. "Therefore, home improvement takes on an even greater priority."

For the second consecutive year, the living room -- cited by 46 percent of Americans -- will be the most popular room being refurnished or remodeled. In addition, the number of people planning to make over their bathrooms has doubled to 31 percent this year.

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