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Long-term trends in remodeling are positive


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Remodeling has been a bright spot in the homebuilding and design industry, and a recent report by the Harvard Center for Joint Housing Studies suggests that the long-term trend will continue to be favorable.

Several factors are converging to produce the positive outlook. First, as Baby Boomers age, the turnover of their homes will generate remodeling activity. About three-quarters of home sales by people over 55 are made to people under 55. The homes of older sellers are generally older and generate immediate and significant spending on renovation.

A younger person buying from an older seller can be expected to spend about $5,000 annually on renovation, the report concludes. In addition, the median age of the existing U.S. housing stock grew from 29 years in 1997 to 32 years in 2007 — also indicating that future renovation and remodeling are more likely.

These and other factors cited in the report suggest that the long-term prospects for the remodeling market are favorable for architects and others in the building industry.

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