The continued strength of new housing starts has been one of the few bright spots in the construction industry since 2000, but with many analysts predicting a slowdown, the well could soon run dry. However, while homeowners may not be willing to invest in new homes during the next few years, home renovation projects could pick up the slack. The value of residential improvements has increased more than 35% since 1999, and a new report from FMI Corp. predicts the trend will continue. “The 2003 — 2004 U.S. Market Construction Overview Update” found that the market reached $123 billion in 2002, which was an increase of 13%. The report predicts that figure could increase by as much of 12% by the end of 2004.