Real Estate

With home remodeling expected to hit new highs, here's how to play it: Experts

Remodeling spending to reach all-time high?

Spending on home remodeling is expected to hit new highs this year, and according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Bob Wetenhall there's still time for investors to capitalize on it.

Stocks that are a play on the theme are already up this year, with names like Masco seeing gains of almost 25 percent and Fortune Brands Home & Security up 13 percent.

"This is a long, steady vibrant theme that's going to remain on a very stable track forward. So we have visibility. We understand what is going on. This is not something … where we're going to go off the tracks," Wetenhall said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Monday.

According to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, spending on home remodeling is expected to hit $304 billion this year, an all-time high.

Of that, owner remodeling will be $220 billion and rental remodeling will be $84 billion. Big project renovations of $5,000 or more will total $133 billion and $159 billion will be spent on smaller project remodels, the firm predicts.

A home improvement contractor works on a house in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Suzanne Kreiter | The Boston Globe | Getty Images

In fact, remodeling spending is expected to grow faster than new home construction, said Todd Tomalak, vice president of John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

For the next three years there will be a 26 percent growth in remodeling compared to only 4 percent in new construction, he told "Power Lunch." That's a "complete reversal" from the last several years.

There are a few reasons behind the move to renovate, including the shortage of quality housing, he said. And when people spend to upgrade their current homes that means bigger-ticket items.

"People who stay in their home spend at a higher price point and they usually hire pros. So depending on which channel you're looking at, you should see people who do the pro shopping better … they should outperform," Tomalak said.

Wetenhall agreed, pointing out that consumers are "feeling better about the universe."

"So they're not going for that entry-level product. They're going to pay more to get luxury in the household," he added.

Wetenhall's best pure play bets are Fortune Brands Home & Security, Masco, Mohawk Industries and Masonite International. He thinks BMC Stock Holdings is the best materials distributor leveraged to the trend.

— CNBC's Stefanie Kratter contributed to this report.

Disclosures: MAS is an investment banking client of RBC.