Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: A better house for tomorrow

April 20, 2010

renovate1Check out the renovations being planned by U.S. homeowners this year.

According to an American Express Spending & Saving Tracker poll, 62 percent of homeowners plan to tackle remodeling and renovation projects in 2010 to improve their home’s appearance and value (the top two motivators, respectively). However, many (53 percent) also believe a return to a seller’s market in real estate is not expected for two or more years.

Even with the soft housing market, 85 percent of homeowners consider their home as their most valuable asset and will spend an average of $6,200 to enhance it, according to the monthly study.

“It’s clear from this month’s survey findings that Americans’ most prized possessions are their homes and they are committed to continuing to enhance its appearance and value in spite of the softer real estate market,” Pamela Codispoti, American Express senior vice president and general manager of Cardmember Services, said in a statement.

“However, Americans are doing so in a responsible way by funding projects within their financial means.  This signals that consumers are following through on their previously stated intentions to exercise more financial discipline in 2010 as it relates to home improvement,” she added.

Most (about 70 percent) will finance their projects with money on hand and employ a variety of resources to complete the projects — contractor (47 percent), family and friends (38 percent) and doing it themselves (14 percent), — the poll said. Interiors (53 percent) will receive the most attention.

Many still think it a buyer’s market as 52 percent of the general population are not confident they could get their asking price, according to the poll. However, 79 percent would not be willing to come down on price to seal the deal.

Also in the basket:

Target to issue Target-only credit card

Supervalu posts quarterly profit as sales drop

Coca-Cola revenue falls short; shares slip

Coach profit beats, eyes Europe expansion

Brinker profit weighed down by weather, costs

Wolverine Q1 beats Wall Street, sees strong 2010 sales

(Reuters photo)

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