Home improvement spending is

likely to grow by 4% in 2013, slightly slower than the 4.5%

rate for 2012. The housing recovery is

still in its early stages and the recovery will continue to

occur in fits and starts.

The slower growth rate projected for 2013 is due in large part to lower

disposable income for consumers this year because of

the expiration of the two year reduction

of Social Security payroll taxes.

This is the fourth straight year of growth

after three down years from 2007 through

2009, with the recovery beginning in 2010.

Home remodeling spending in 2013 is expected to

benefit from the improvement in home sales.

Existing home sales will be up 7.7%, while

new single-family home sales are forecast to 22%.

The biggest beneficiaries of increased home

improvement spending are The Home Depot and Lowe’s

which account for a little less than half of the $280 billion

market. Home Depot’s same store sales were up 4.6% in 2012,

while Lowe’s growth was only 1.4%.