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Why U.S. homes need further remodeling, expert explains

  • March 28, 2023

Harvard University Remodeling Futures Program Director Carlos Martin joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss home improvement and repair spending, the need for additional investments in aging homes, and the outlook for the U.S. housing sector.

Video Transcript

JARED BLIKE: Household routines and the use of living space in homes changed drastically after the COVID-19 pandemic as people began to spend less time outside. Home improvement and repair spending soared to an estimated $567 billion last year, according to a report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Despite this impressive investment, the research suggests, well, guess what? American homes will need further changes to prepare for disasters, improve energy efficiency, and meet the needs of an aging population. So here to discuss is Harvard University’s remodeling futures program director Carlos Martín. And Carlos, thank you for joining us today. Just break down here what you’re working on for us, please.

CARLOS MARTIN: Sure. Thank you. I mean, you hit the headline right now with regard to the levels of spending that occurred, particularly during the pandemic. And that passed in real terms the past boom in the mid 2000s. I think what’s most interesting out of this is really that not only did individuals spend more per project– and some of that was due to inflation– but also that the range of people, of homeowners that were doing improvements, increased. It wasn’t just the higher end, upper end market doing bathroom and kitchen remodels. It was a wide range of project particularly among middle income owners.

BRAD SMITH: And so this at a time where we’re still waiting for much more capacity to come online, especially in some urban cities, urban areas where that can start to drive down the rent costs that have absolutely skyrocketed, as there has been

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