BuildFax reported a record high for remodeling this spring, according to its BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI) for May 2011. This is the highest level of remodeling activity since the Index was introduced in 2004.
The report reveals continued month-over-month gains for every region of the country, with data demonstrating that consumers are continuing to invest in remodeling, even as home prices continue to dip and unemployment continues to rise. It also indicates that residential remodeling activity registered the 19th straight month of year-over-year gains, demonstrating that many Americans are continuing to remodel their current homes, rather than purchasing new ones.
The BFRI directly reports 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.
All Regions of the Country See GainsThe index rose 22 percent year-over-year in May to 124.3, the highest number ever in the index to date.
"Through the first five months of 2011 we have seen impressive gains within the remodeling index and May has continued that trend with a record setting month," said Joe Emison, vice president of Research and Development at BuildFax. "Even with the continued struggles in the economy, the remodeling industry has been a bright spot, as consumers look to make upgrades to their current homes, rather than purchasing a new residence. Based on the trends from the first months of this year, we expect to continue seeing strong gains from coast to coast."
All regions were up month-over-month, with the Northeast up 9.8 points (12%), the South up 7.3 points (7%), the Midwest up 16.3 points (18%), and the West up 8.7 points (7%). Even though the Midwest was up month-over-month, it continues to lag the other regions (as it has for the past three months) in year-over-year performance, down 10.6 points (11%) year-over-year. All other regions were up year-over-year, with the Northeast up 7.2 points (9%), the South up 9.5 points (10%), and the West up 20.7 points (21%).