Permits for residential remodeling projects increased 10 percent in March from 2011, but slipped slightly from an unseasonably warm February, according to the latest BuildFax Remodeling Index.
"Overall, March 2012 had lower remodeling activity than February, which saw significantly greater-than-expected activity, likely due to the unseasonably warm winter weather," said Joe Emison, Vice President of Research and Development at BuildFax.
Permits were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2,781,000, compared with 2,811,000 (a drop of about 1 percent) and 2,522,000 in March 2011.
On a year-over-year basis remodeling was up in the Midwest (15 percent), West (12 percent) and South (10 percent), while the Northeast dropped 9 percent.
The Northeast also experienced the largest February to March drop, with activity there declining 22 percent. Permits were down 7 percent in the West, but actually increased by 3 percent in both the South and Midwest in March.
The BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI) is based on construction permits for residential remodeling projects filed with local building departments across the country. The index estimates the number of properties permitted. The national and regional indexes are based upon a subset of representative building departments in the U.S. and population estimates from the U.S. Census.