As the overall housing market continues its slow recovery, statistics show that more Americans are renovating and repairing their homes again. The pickup comes as residential prices have hit bottom across much of the country. Both price appreciation and increased home equity have given many the confidence to undertake a shelved remodeling or improvement project. According to a report published this week by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, the remodeling industry also is benefiting from the need to make repairs and upgrades to the still-large inventory of foreclosed houses in many distressed markets. Kermit Baker, a senior fellow at the center, remarks, “All those homes that have gone through foreclosure or short sales are now coming back on the market. In a lot of cases, these properties have been abandoned for the last few years. So you’ve got some properties in pretty tough shape.” Home remodeling accounted for nearly 327,000 construction industry jobs at the peak of the housing boom before falling to 216,000 in early 2010. Employment has been gradually rebounding, although it closed out 2012 at only approximately 250,000. | Read More