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Remodeling During a Pandemic
There’s plenty of reason to think that as people are stuck at home like never before during the pandemic, many are getting tired of looking at the same four walls. For example, first-time homeowners have always been a prime driver for remodeling. But a recent survey conducted by the Home Improvement Research Institute found that 83 percent had engaged in some type of home improvement activity during that first year of ownership that happened to fall in 2020 vs. 70 percent when the survey was taken in 2018. According to the latest market outlook from the National Kitchen & Bath Association, remodeling revenues for the trade group’s namesake rooms is projected to reach $158.6 billion in 2021, a 16.6 percent increase over an estimated $136 billion in 2020. The NKBA pointed to “multiple encouraging indicators as a cause for optimism.” Among them are near-record-low mortgage rates, as well as significant home-price appreciation, which has historically been a precursor for jump-starting high-end home renovations. The NKBA also pointed to a lowering of risks associated with COVID-19 and a pent-up demand fueled in part by a shortage of available housing and “cautionary savings” accumulated during the pandemic.