Spending on residential improvements will continue to grow over the next two years at a gradual pace, according to experts at a press conference hosted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers at NAHB’s International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas.

Professional remodelers from across the country agreed with that forecast, citing increased consumer confidence and demand as drivers.

NAHB predicts that remodeling spending for owner-occupied, single-family homes will decrease by 0.6% in 2020 and increase by 1.2% in 2021.

“Remodeler certainty continues to remain at a high level, as remodeling spending reached $158 billion in 2019,” reported 2019 NAHB Remodelers chair Tim Ellis. “Although there is steady consumer demand in all areas of the country, the biggest challenge continues to be the cost of and lack of skilled labor to meet the interest.”

The industry is not only seeing more requests for proposals due to limited housing stock, but also higher requests for aging-in-place projects, said Nick Scheel, a remodeler from Spokane Valley, Wash. Those increases are driven by boomers who want to stay in their homes longer, he said.

“NAHB estimates that real spending on home improvements will even out at a slower place of about -0.6% in 2020 and an increase of 1.2% in 2021,” said Paul Emrath, NAHB’s assistant vice president for surveys and housing policy research. “The biggest factors prohibiting stronger growth is mainly the ongoing labor shortage.”

Although the economy is slowing slightly, the risk of a recession is low and remodeling should keep pace with inflation into 2021, said NAHB officials.

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