(Reuters) - Growth in U.S. home remodeling expenditure is expected to slow in 2019 due to low inventory of existing homes, a report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University showed on Thursday.
Homeowners are expected to spend about $339.0 billion on remodeling in the first quarter of 2019, or a 6.9 percent increase from a year earlier, and $346.8 billion on remodeling in the second quarter of 2019, or a 7.0 percent increase from the year before, according to the center.
This compares with a projected expenditure of $331.0 billion in the third quarter of 2018, or a 7.4 percent rise from a year earlier, and a forecast $336.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, or a 7.3 percent rise.
This year had been expected to be the best year for home remodeling in more than a decade, as an improving job market and rising home values spur homeowners to upgrade or to perform replacement projects, the latest report showed.
“Although the projected growth for remodeling activity remains strong, the low inventory of existing homes for sale is holding back even larger gains, since significant remodeling and repair often occurs around the time of a sale,” says Abbe Will, Associate Project Director in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center.
Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Bernadette Baum