The Remodelers Guide to Business

JCHS Lists Top Remodeling Metro Markets: How Does Yours Stack Up?

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University crunched the numbers on remodeling spending and identified the top metropolitan markets in the country. The top three metro aren’t that surprising — New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago — but there are hotbeds of home improvement spending from less-expected places.

The second tier includes Birmingham, AL, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Richmond, VA, and Rochester, NY. In each of these cities and their surrounding suburbs, spending on home improvement and remodeling is about $1 billion. In comparison, the top markets see anywhere from $12.2 billion in New York City to $6-8 billion in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC.

The results were compiled by JCHS using data from the latest American Housing Survey released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

How Homeowners are Spending

JCHS says about half of the home improvement spending was on projects to replace old and worn out home components and systems like roofs, HVAC upgrades and insulation improvements. That’s up 10% from a historical 40 percent, due to aging housing stock.

Energy efficiency is usually the goal, especially in areas with harsher winters like Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Rochester. In these areas, JCHS says, 20 to 25 percent of remodeling project were done for better energy efficiency. Nationally, the number is 17 percent.

Keep Energy Use in Mind

While the remodeling industry is still strong, the report does point to some things to keep in mind. The trend toward retrofits for energy efficiency will likely will continue. So use the benefits in your sales and marketing, even if you’re not specifically selling these upgrades. It’s an increasingly important consideration for homeowners, and it should be at the top of remodelers minds too.


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