SoCal Remodeling Projects Make Comeback as Economy Improves

Southern California homes are looking good. During the economic free-fall, contractors and builders offered cut-rate services and apparently SoCal citizens responded. And that's helping the remodeling industry make a comeback.

A recent L.A.Times story reported that 62 percent of homeowners said they planned to embark on home-improvement projects in 2010, with average spending of $6,200 on enhancements.

This is a much-needed relief for the home improvement market, which despite Martha Stewart's announcement to sell at Home Depot, saw consumer spending drop 27 percent since 2007 because homeowners delayed or abandoned plans to remodel.

"According to a report this month by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, the sector is estimated to see nearly 5% growth in 2010 -- although industry experts caution that a full rebound will take a while," reports the L.A. Times.

Both home-improvement meccas Home Depot and Lowe's have reported better-than-usual fourth-quarter profits. Each company noted that consumers are more willing to put in the money for home renovation and that store sales are predicted to increase by 3.5 percent. (Though after a 27 percent drop, that still leaves a long climb.)

If the trend continues, 2010 could produce the first annual spending increase for the industry since 2006.

Maybe Martha might help after all.

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