According to studies conducted by the LIRA Project affiliated with the prestigious US University, Harvard, home improvement spending is predicted to decline significantly throughout the year. Already, the industry is reeling due to a lack of interest and many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat because of a shortage of demand but these recently released figures are even more concerning.
In fact, over the course of 2009 the amount of money spent on home improvements is expected to fall by 12% over all. Nicolas P. Retsinas, the director at Harvard’s Centre for Housing Studies spoke out about the problem in a press release for the organisation, he said: “The weak housing market and the national economic recession continue to take their toll on remodeling,” he said. He also added: “It looks increasing unlikely that this industry will recover until consumers have more confidence in the housing market.”
Lack of Home Sales
As well as the lack of home sales fuelling the desire to not spend on home improvements, the money just hasn’t been there for non-essentials. The Harvard Centre for Housing Studies is home to a specialist Remodelling Futures Program and the director of that section, Kermit Baker, also commented on the new figures: “Lower financing costs are beginning to stabilize the downturn in existing home sales, as they also are reducing the cost of financing a home improvement project,” he suggested.
Continuing: “However, they have not been enough to offset rising unemployment and falling consumer confidence and encourage homeowners to undertake major home improvement projects.” Another study which was published by Datamonitor notes how hard hit the industry was just last year when the recession became a pressing issue. In the report called UK DIY & Gardening Retailers 2008, key findings show how significantly the market has been affected.
Just last year the study suggested: “The DIY sector will bear the brunt of the recession, shrinking in size for the third time in four years in 2008… the market will decline by 4.1% in 2008, taking almost £1.0bn out of the market.”