BuildFax Remodeling Index Shows Top April on Record

Remodeling activity in April hit the highest level for the month since BuildFax started tracking the market in 2004

June 15, 2011

The remodeling industry continues to show strength, with record levels of activity for the month of April.

The BuildFax Remodeling Index for April 2011 shows that remodeling activity for the month was higher than any April since BuildFax started tracking the market in 2004.

The latest BFRI index indicates that residential remodeling activity registered the eighteenth-straight month of year-over-year gains, demonstrating that many Americans are continuing to remodel their current homes, rather than purchasing new homes.

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.

The April 2011 index rose 15 percent year-over-year—and for the eighteenth straight month—in April to 109.7, the highest April number in the index to date.

That follows year-over-year gains of 17 percent in March, 20 percent in February and 22 percent in January.

“April traditionally sets a baseline for the rest of the year in residential remodeling activity, and April 2011 is the best we’ve seen since the beginning of the index in April 2004,” said Joe Emison, vice president of research and development at BuildFax.  “The BFRI is indexed to start at 100 in April 2004 and here we are seven years later, after significant drops in housing value, and the index is almost 110. That means there were almost 10 percent more residential remodels in April 2011 than in April 2004. Given the relatively pessimistic economic news that we heard about April, including a slowing recovery, this is a nice surprise for the industry.”

In April, all regions posted month-over-month gains, and only the Midwest posted a year-over-year loss. The West was up 16.8 points (18 percent) year-over-year and up 5.3 points (5 percent) month-over-month.  The Midwest was down 16.9 points (19 percent) year-over-year and up 10.7 points (17 percent) month-over-month, recovering slightly from a lower-than-average March. The Northeast was up 3.2 points (5 percent) year-over-year and 9.1 points (14 percent) month-over-month, and the South was up 9.6 points (11 percent) year-over-year and 10 points (12 percent) month-over-month.

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