Wallisch, Sean

Two metro areas that suffered disasters last year--flooding in Houston and fires in Los Angeles--recorded the biggest gains in median spending for renovations last year and are contributing to robust growth nationwide in 2018, the seventh annual Houzz & Home Survey indicates.

Overall, the survey released yesterday of nearly 131,000 homeowners was extremely positive for remodeling activity; 51% of respondents said they were either planning to begin or continue renovations this year at a median price of $15,000. Those 131,000 were taken from people who have registered with Houzz, so the results can't be taken as representative of the nation as a whole. But they do give a sense of what's on the minds of more renovation-minded Americans.

"All of the evidence from our research points to 2018 likely being another robust year for the home improvement industry,” said Nino Sitchinava, Houzz principal economist. “Recent buyers and long-term homeowners alike are keen on investing in major projects. Kitchens and bathrooms continue to fuel spend, while exterior features and systems, such as home security and automation, are on the rise. "

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