With house prices on the rise, homeowners are expected to ramp up spending on everything from sump pumps to shingles during the first year, according to a new Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) report released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

The double-digit gains in annual home improvement spending projected for the first half of the year should moderate some to just under 10 percent by the third quarter. Here's what Eric Belsky, managing director of the Joint Center, had to say aobut what's driving the trend:

“The ongoing growth that we’ve seen in home prices, housing starts, and existing home sales is also being reflected in home improvement activity,” he said. “As owners gain more confidence in the housing market, they are likely to undertake home improvements that they have deferred.”

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