Metro Atlanta home improvements have seen record spending over the past three years due to the resurgence in home equity over that period of time, but spending is set to soften in coming months.
According to the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the center's index, the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), projects that annual growth in home improvement spending will decelerate from 6.3 percent in the first quarter of 2015 to 1.6 percent by the third quarter.
Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center says, "Homeownership rates continue to slide as lending remains tight and first-time homebuyers are not yet returning to the market." Growth in Metro Atlanta home improvements and remodeling spending is expected to drop somewhat in 2015 due partly to weakening home sales last year.
However, the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA's) recent announcement of a decrease in their mortgage insurance premiums could spur a new wave of first-time home buying since this is the category of borrowers most affected by mortgage premiums.
Other Factors Affecting Spending on Metro Atlanta Home Improvements
There are other factors, of course, that contribute to LIRA's outlook for Metro Atlanta home improvements. Home prices, for example, are still gaining, although not as fast as in previous months. If prices slow further, more buyers could enter the market, purchasing homes that need some remodeling.
House price gains are moderating but still strong and home sales appear to be turning a corner now, all of which bodes well for continued, if more moderate, gains in Metro Atlanta home improvements for 2015
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