By Brandon Brown
The Arizona Republic
Locally, contractors and home-improvement retailers report business is picking up.
National studies also point to growing interest in remodeling. The latest quarterly report of the leading indicator of remodeling activity from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University says remodeling activity is poised for double-digit growth by the first quarter of 2013. The center attributed the trend to rising home sales.
A National Association of Home Builders’ remodeling market index has reached levels in the past three quarters not seen since late 2007. Also, stock prices for retail chains such as the Home Depot and Lowe’s have risen dramatically over the past year, spurred by expectations of a housing recovery that could drive home improvement.
“People now have the confidence to start investing in their homes,” said Abbe Will, a research analyst at the Joint Center for Housing Studies.