Estimated recent growth of homeowner remodeling spending has eased substantially but still remains near its long-term rate of 5 percent, according to a new report.

Homeowners spent more than an estimated $155 billion on home improvements and repairs over the past four quarters, representing a 4.5 percent increase over this period, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies’ Remodeling Activity Indicator released today.

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

Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program of the Joint Center, commenting on this year’s trends said: “Remodeling contractors recently have reported a slight decline in hours worked by their employees, and more modest growth in their payrolls. This points to remodeling following home building into a period of slower growth in the months ahead.”

The remodeling index is released quarterly by the Joint Center’s Remodeling Futures Program during the third week after each quarter’s closing — generally about two quarters before the U.S.

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies is a center for information and research on housing in the United States. Established in 1959, the Joint Center is a collaborative unit affiliated with the Graduate School of Design and the Kennedy School of Government.

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