The first quarter of 2013 may see double-digit growth in home improvement spending. Brad Tuttle of Time highlights the market conditions that are contributing to the uptick, identified by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center, says that “low financing costs, stronger consumer confidence, improving home sales, and the perception that home prices have stabilized in most markets across the country are encouraging owners to start working on the list of home improvement projects they have been putting off.”
Rather than spend on high-end projects, many households are opting for practical revisions and upgrades. Consumer Reports suggests a $1000 bathroom remodel that consists of sensible options such as replacing the vanity, countertop, toilet, faucet, floor or updating lights and hardware. For the kithcen, $5000 can go a long way to cover painting structurally sound cabinets, adding islands or work space, and replacing old appliances and fixtures.
U.S. News rates the best and worst home improvement expenditures based on return on investment. Homeowners should check out Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for 2011 and 2012 before picking up their hammers.