Homeowner remodeling spending continued to show signs of easing through the third quarter of 2006, with homeowners spending an estimated $160.5 billion on home improvements and repairs over the past four quarters, according to a survey released today.

The Remodeling Activity Indicator, devised by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, showed only a 1.6 percent increase in remodel spending in this period compared to the previous four quarters.

“The softening housing market, including a reduced volume of home sales, has contributed to slowing expenditures on home improvements by homeowners. As sales continue to fall, remodeling expenditures will continue to slump,” Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, said in an announcement.

Remodeling indicators have been mixed in recent quarters, “however, all of the components of the (index) point to either slower growth or decline. This suggests that the industry has not yet hit bottom, so we should see a further slowdown in the coming quarters,” said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program of the Joint Center.

The index is released quarterly during the third week after each quarter’s closing. The next release date is Jan. 18, 2007.

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