Gloomy housing market good for remodeling business - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Gloomy housing market good for remodeling business

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Montgomery, AL (WSFA) - Numbers released Friday show retail sales rose for the sixth straight month in December.

Analysts say it's a sign that an economic recovery is on the way, but the one area that is still not showing signs of a rebound is the housing market.

Despite tax credits and low interest rates, 2010 sales across the country were down.  In the Montgomery area, sales decreased around 6.5% from 2009.

But while home sales are down, remodeling spending is up--meaning more folks are choosing to upgrade rather than move.

Lori Barbiero and Scott Walters, along with hundreds of others, turned out to the Greater Montgomery Home and Garden Show.

While their ultimate goal is to buy a new home, they feel remodeling is a safer bet for now.

Lori said, "The housing market is horrible now, so as far as putting money into the house, I'd rather remodel until it comes back."

"We've had several houses on our street that are for sale, and they have been on the market now for 2 - 2 1/2 and a half years. So we'd like to do something to get in a better position when it is time to sell," said Scott.

It's a sentiment experts say they're hearing a lot these days.  Joe Medlin, owner of Granite Transformations, said his business has grown exponentially in the past few years.

"People are deciding to stay put in their existing home, and they say, if we're going to live here a little bit longer, we're going to enjoy our house all the more.  Plus, when the housing market does come back up, they want to make sure and capitalize on the investments they make," he said.

Realtors, though, caution against investing too much in a remodel, saying you might not get it back.  But most say they're optimistic the market is in for a turn around in the coming year.

The Greater Montgomery Home and Garden show continues Saturday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. It's at the Renaissance Montgomery Convention Center. Admission is $8, but those 17 and under get in free.

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