NAHB has identified the top counties for remodeling spending across the country, with Los Angeles County, California leading the way.
The NAHB model uses data from the American Housing Survey — which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau — to estimate local remodeling based on home and homeowner characteristics. It is then applied to the information on every county's homes and homeowners that the Census Bureau released late last year from its American Community Survey.
Here's a look at the top five markets in each of four regions of the country:
Not surprisingly, the New York City area dominates the list, with its relatively strong housing market, stable home prices and economic success. Middlesex County, in the Boston metro area, is the only non-New York county to crack the top five.
1. Nassau County, New York - $1.9 billion
2. Suffolk County, New York - $1.8 billion
3. Queens County, New York - $1.7 billion
4. Middlesex County, Massachusetts - $1.7 billion
5. Kings County, New York - $1.6 billion
Even with its struggling economy, Chicago's Cook County tops the list, with the second-largest remodeling market in the country, and suburban DuPage County also makes it on the list at No. 5. Hennepin County - home to Minneapolis - has seen a nice recovery in unemployment rates as of late, and should see increased remodeling spending as home prices recover. The biggest surprise may be that the Detroit area, despite years of economic pressures, still represents a significant remodeling market.
1. Cook County, Illinois - $4.1 billion
2. Hennepin County, Minnesota - $1 billion
3. Wayne County, Michigan - $1 billion
4. Oakland County, Michigan - $946 million
5. DuPage County, Illinois - $881 million
Southern Florida dominates this list, representing three of the five top counties in the Southern U.S. for remodeling spending. Houston's Harris County and Fairfax County in suburban Washington, D.C., round out the list.
1. Miami-Dade County, Florida - $1.7 billion
2. Harris County, Texas - $1.6 billion
3. Broward County, Florida - $1.5 billion
4. Fairfax County, Virginia - $1.4 billion
5. Palm Beach County, Florida - $1.3 billion
For the second year in a row, Los Angeles County ranks as the largest remodeling market in the country. Toss in Orange and San Diego counties and it shows just how huge the Southern California remodeling market is. Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and its wealthy suburbs, shows continued strength. And those tech firms in Silicon Valley continue to pay out nice bonuses, helping to drive remodeling spending in Santa Clara County.
1. Los Angeles County, California - $8.4 billion
2. Orange County, California - $3.4 billion
3. San Diego County, California - $3 billion
4. Maricopa County, Arizona - $2.7 billion
5. Santa Clara County, California - $2.3 billion