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KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market

Real Estate

Owners gain equity, plow it back into their homes

Home remodeling is posting a strong recovery as more homeowners regain equity and look to spruce up their homes.

"In the near term, homeowner spending on improvements is expected to see its strongest growth since the height of the housing boom," said Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Home remodeling projects surged 14 percent in September over year-ago levels, according to BuildFax, which tracks building permits.

However, smaller remodeling projects - those under $10,000 - are dropping in number.

One reason behind the trend is that homeowners may be starting to renovate more and spend more as they regain equity. In recent years, remodeling activity was mostly dominated by smaller projects from investors who had purchased single-family homes to turn into rentals. Investors are lessening their share in remodeling as regular homeowners show more interest in home remodeling.

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