The good news is that homeowners are expected to spend more on home remodeling in 2010, the bad news is that "green" remodeling isn't adding to home values. Two reports from the International Builders Showin Las Vegas this week have served to put me, and many other potential remodelers, into a conundrum.
Remodeling activity is currently down 30 percent from its peak in 2007, according to the Remodeling Futures Program at Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing. Much to the dismay of the Lowes and Home Depots of the nation, the wave of home equity that fueled granite kitchens and double-sinked marble bathrooms in the middle of the last decade has dried up to a drip.
But as the recession eases, researchers at Harvard claim that by the second quarter of this year homeowner spending on remodeling will rise to an annualized rate of $107.7 billion and by the third quarter, to $110.0 billion.
"It appears we may be near the bottom of the current remodeling cycle," says Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. "With signs of stabilization in the national economy, homeowners are once again planning home improvement projects."