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    Harvard Housing Studies’ report: Home remodeling should ‘trend up’ later this year

    Home improvement spending should accelerate from a slow start and trend up later this year, a sign that the housing market is finally starting its slow recovery, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University said today.

    The center just issued the latest data from its Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity survey, which it refers to as LIRA. The headline of the center’s press release: “Glimmers of hope for remodeling in 2012.”

    If momentum continues to build during the second half of the year, “remodeling activity is on course to end 2012 on a positive note,” the center said.

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    In a statement, Kermit Baker, the director of the center’s Remodeling Futures Program, said: “Sales of existing homes have been increasing in recent months, offering more opportunities for home improvement projects.  As lending institutions become less fearful of the real estate sector, financing will become more readily available to owners looking to undertake remodeling.”

    Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.