An improving housing market and record low interest rates are driving projections of strong gains in home improvement activity through the end of the year and into the first half of 2013.

An improving housing market and record low interest rates are driving projections of strong gains in home improvement activity through the end of the year and into the first half of 2013, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity recently released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA suggests that the seeds for what appears to be a very robust remodeling recovery have been planted, with annual homeowner improvement spending expected to reach double-digit growth in the first half of 2013.

In other news, the Remodeling Market Index of the National Association of Home Builders climbed to 50 in the third quarter of 2012, up from 45 in the previous quarter. The RMI is at its highest point since the third quarter of 2005, tracking the positive trends recently seen in the rest of the housing sector.  

All three indicators of current market conditions improved: maintenance and repairs, minor additions and alterations, and major additions and alterations. Current market conditions improved or held steady in all four regions in the third quarter of 2012.