Remodeling gauge continues decline into third quarter

Real Estate Watch

October 28, 2001

Home remodeling spending continued to decline in the third quarter of this year, but Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies said that it's still too early to determine the impact of the events of Sept. 11 on the remodeling market.

The Joint Center releases its Remodeling Activity Indicator each quarter, which tracks the pace of homeowner remodeling activity.

In the third quarter, remodeling spending slipped 0.3 percent when compared with the third quarter last year, to $103.6 billion on an annual basis. In the second quarter, spending stood at an annualized $104 billion.

Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Future Program at the center, said that the significant downturn in economic outlook and consumer confidence will probably offset positives, such as falling interest rates.

The indicator is a cumulative 12-month figure released quarterly and based on manufacturers' shipments of floor and wall tile products, retail sales at building supply stores, sales of existing single-family homes and the prime loan rate.

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