The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) predicts spending on remodeling projects is on the rise. LIRA predicts spending will increase 8.6% by the end of 2016 and reach 9.7% in the first quarter of 2017 according to an April 21 release. Conducted by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, LIRA predicts that spending on remodeling will reach nearly $325 billion by early 2017.

"Ongoing gains in home prices and sales are encouraging more homeowners to pursue larger-scale improvement projects this year compared to last with permitted projects climbing at a good pace," said Chris Herbert, managing director for the Joint Center, in a press release. "On the strength of these gains, the level of annual spending for remodeling and repairs is expected to reach nearly $325 billion nationally by early next year."

This updated version of LIRA reflects a change in the analysis of the housing market, focusing on a broader segment of the housing market including improvement and repairs to homes. LIRA's past model only accounted for home improvement numbers. According to Abbe Will, a research analyst with the Join Center, this change makes LIRA, "somewhat less cyclical, but still anticipates turning points in the market well."

Click here to read the full press release.

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