Remodeling activity on the rise

| by Teena Hammond
Remodeling activity on the rise

Remodeling activity is continuing to increase according to the BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI).

The latest BFRI showed that the month of September experienced the highest level of remodeling activity since the index was introduced in 2004 and represented the 23rd consecutive month of increases. In addition, BuildFax data revealed the most popular permitted residential remodeling jobs since 2006 have been roof remodels/replacements, followed by deck and bathroom remodels. The top eight types of remodels classified by BuildFax are:

  • Roof (21.4 percent)
  • Deck (7.9 percent)
  • Bathroom (6.9 percent)
  • Garage (6.1 percent)
  • Kitchen (4.8 percent)
  • Basement (2.9 percent)
  • Office (1.7 percent)
  • Sunroom (0.7 percent)

"Mortgage rates continue to be near record lows, and as homeowners from coast to coast refinance, they are continuing to update their current home and invest in their properties," said Joe Emison, vice president of research and development at BuildFax.

"The data from BuildFax show that homeowners are not only doing important 'maintenance' projects, such as fixing their roof, but also taking on projects that add to the 'livability' of their homes by adding decks, remodeling their bathrooms and updating their kitchens. These are immediate fixes they will enjoy and that potential buyers look for," Emison said.

BuildFax offersthe construction industry's version of a Carfax vehicle history report. The site collects construction records for millions of properties to create background info on homes buyers might be considering. BuildFax has a proprietary property intelligence engine with building and permitting information from more than 4,000 cities and counties. This covers approximately 63 percent of the country with more than 72 million residential and commercial properties in the database.

Date is updated monthly from high density urban areas, and less frequently in areas with less construction. Some of the details available from the service is if a remodeled home meets the building code, when the work was done, when the HVAC unit was last replaced, and who did the work.

The residential BFRI rose 34 percent year-over-year in September to 141.4, a new high for the index. Residential remodels in September were up month-over-month 2.8 points (2 percent) from the August value of 138.6, and up year-over-year 36.3 points from the September 2010 value of 105.1.

In September 2011, the West (6.4 points; 4.6 percent) and the Midwest (5.73 points; 4.9 percent), all had month-over-month gains, while the Northeast (1.1 points; 1.5 percent) and the South (2.9 points; 2.9 percent) saw a decline. Regions up in year-over-year gains from September of 2010: the West (44.4 points; 43.5 percent), the Midwest (16.8 points; 15.9 percent) and the South (8 points; 9 percent). The Northeast dropped 3.7 points (4.7 percent).

For more information, see our Remodeling a Green Home research center.

Topics: Remodeling, Trends / Statistics

Teena Hammond
Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.

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