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Identity & Community

Home And Garden Show Reflects Improving Economy For Home Renovations

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Virginia Alvino
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90.5 WESA
Sales representatives from Molyneaux Flooring consult attendants of Pittsburgh's Home and Garden Show.

A slow but steady economic recovery means homeowners are spending more on renovations. But where is that money going?

Pittsburgh’s 35th annual Home and Garden Show is the biggest one yet, according to Executive Director John DeSantis.

“What it tells you is the home spending component of the western Pennsylvania economy is very, very healthy,” DeSantis said.

Pittsburgh’s median home price is well below the national average, which could translate to more funds for renovations. DeSantis said attendees spent more than $200 million as a direct result of last year’s home show. He said for local homeowners, renovations continue to be a good investment.

“In western Pennsylvania, people’s homes have held value, at a time when their other savings and investments did not,” DeSantis said.

Pittsburgh has some of the oldest housing stock in the country, so renovations often focus on bathroom and kitchen updates, but DeSantis said more discretionary projects, like outdoor living spaces, are on the rise. 

Matt Prosser with Pittsburgh-based Molyneaux Flooring said in the past five years, a lot of his customers have even opted for more expensive, higher quality products.

“People, I think, are moving away from just the basic oak, into more of a higher-end species like a walnut, or a pecan, something that’s more tailored to them, versus something that’s standard that’s in everybody’s house,” Prosser said.

Renovation spending growth is projected to increase more than 3 percent nationwide by the end of the summer, according to Harvard economists.

The Pittsburgh Home and Garden show runs through March 13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.