The U.S. housing industry is expected to experience a gradual cooling down after several years of high sales and soaring prices. The residential remodeling sector, however, does not look poised for a cooldown in 2019. Remodeling is expected to grow over the next two years as homeowners elect to fix their current homes rather than sell their homes, the Dallas Morning News Reports.
Housing economists are predicting a 4 percent to 5 percent increase in home remodeling this year, while nationwide preowned home sales are expected to drop about 3 percent.
"As houses get older and affordability becomes an issue, remodeling the existing house is a more reasonable option," said Danushka Nanayakkara, a top forecaster and analyst for the National Association of Home Builders.
Nanayakkara said nearly four in ten U.S. homes are 48 years old or older. While many remodeling projects have previously been done to improve the resale value of a home, many homeowners are staying put longer. As a result, remodeling projects are increasingly done to increase the quality of life for families in their current home.
"If you have equity in your home, because there are so few homes for sale and the cost of building has skyrocketed, a lot of times it makes more sense to remodel the home you are in," said Joanne Theunissen, a top officer in the home building industry's remodeling council. "We are seeing a lot more whole-house remodels and large additions to homes."
The higher mortgage rates that have made it tougher for buyers to afford new homes could bring remodelers more business. Housing analysts predict many homeowners will be reluctant to trade current lower-interest mortgages for a higher-priced home purchase loan.