Remodeling activity up almost 10 percent from 2010

The August BuildFax Remodeling Index shows the best numbers since index was introduced in 2004

October 17, 2011

As summer sizzled across the U.S., remodeling activity continued to be red hot.

Today, BuildFax unveiled its BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI) for August 2011 which showed that remodeling activity reached a record high during the month. BuildFax also released data today showing, based on its national footprint of permit data, an estimate of over 3.3 million residential remodeling projects will be permitted in 2011. This figure is up from the estimated 3.1 million residential remodeling projects that were permitted in 2010, an almost 9.5 percent increase.

The latest BFRI showed that August 2011 became the month with the highest level of remodeling activity since the Index was introduced in 2004 and represented the 22nd consecutive month of increases. In addition, BuildFax estimates that more than 3.1 million residential remodeling projects were permitted in 2010 and that just under 2 million residential remodeling jobs have already been permitted in 2011 through July, putting this year on track for an estimated 3.3 million permitted remodeling projects.

"As mortgage rates hit record lows, it is apparent that millions of Americans are refinancing their homes and using some of their new monthly savings to reinvest in their homes with remodeling projects," said Joe Emison, Vice President of Research and Development at BuildFax. "With remodeling activity growing at an estimated 9.5 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, this is one segment of the economy that is showing continued strength, even as other sectors struggle."

August Signifies 22 Consecutive Months of Industry Growth

The Residential BuildFax Remodeling Index rose 29 percent year-over-year—and for the twenty-second straight month—in August to 138.6 (meaning that 38.6 percent more remodeling jobs were permitted nationally in August 2011 than in April 2004, the first month the index tracked numbers). Residential remodels in August were significantly up month-over-month over 8 points (6.3 percent) from the July value of 130.4, and up year-over-year 31.2 points (29 percent) from the August 2010 value of 107.4.

The BFRI is the only source directly reporting residential remodeling activity across the nation with monthly information derived through related building permit activity filed with local building departments across the country. This monthly report provides month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons on trends in remodeling activity for the entire United States, as well as for the four major regions of the country: Northeast, South, Midwest, and West.

Most Regions of Country See Month-over-Month Gains

In August, the West (11.9 points; 9.3 percent), Midwest (11.4 points; 10.8 percent), and South (1 point; 1 percent) all had month-over-month gains, while the Northeast (-.6 points; -.8 percent) saw a decline. The Northeast also saw a decline from August 2010 (-3 points; -3.9 percent), while the South was up (7.6 points; 8.2 percent), as was the West (35.3 points; 33.6 percent) and Midwest (11.7 points; 11 percent).

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