Home improvement activity maintained a solid pace in 2003, with homeowner spending on improvement projects accelerating during the second half of the year, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies remodeling activity indicator.

Homeowners spent $130.4 billion remodeling their homes during 2003, according to the Joint Center.

The Joint Center Director Nicolas P. Retsinas remarked, “Even though mortgage rates were fluctuating in the second half of 2003,home sales – and the resulting move-in renovations – continued to be at record levels. The fourth-quarter boost in remodeling spending is yet another indication that the economic recovery has taken hold.”

Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program of the Joint Center, commenting on this year’s trends, “After rising by more than 10 percent in 2002, spending on home improvements increased another 7 percent in 2003. With an improving economy, home improvement activity is expected to see even further gains in 2004.”

The RAI is regularly released by the Joint Center’s Remodeling Futures Program during the third week after each quarter’s closing–two quarters before the U.S. Commerce Department’s data on residential improvements and repairs is available–in order to provide industry with an accurate and timely reading of national remodeling activity levels.

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies is a center for information and research on housing in the United States.

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