Remodelers Report Slow But Steady First Quarter
Remodelers’ perceptions of remodeling activity held steady during this year’s first quarter, according to the latest results for the NAHB Remodeling Market Index (RMI), which were released on May 7.
The component of the index measuring remodelers’ views of current market conditions climbed to 41.8 for the first three months of this year, up from 40.9 in the final quarter of 2007, while future expectations remained unchanged at 37.9.
The RMI is gauged on a scale of 0 to 100, where any number over 50 is an indicator of industry growth. The index has been running below that level since the final quarter of 2005.
"The remodeling market continues to show weakness, following the downturn in the overall housing market," said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. "We expect there to be some further erosion in 2008, with a gradual recovery in 2009."
Nationally, the RMI components for major additions and alterations during the first quarter increased to 44.15, from 42.28. Minor additions and alterations decreased to 41.57, from 41.76. Maintenance and repair jobs increased to 39.68, from 38.11.
The responses of surveyed remodelers on the amount of work committed for the next three months decreased to 29.63, from 33.15, indicating a decline in the backlog of remodeling jobs.
"While remodeling is down nationally, some markets continue to churn with activity," said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Lonny Rutherford, CGR, CAPS, a remodeler from Farmington, N. M. "Many remodelers are seeing smaller jobs and have a shorter backlog, but we expect activity to increase because necessary home repairs cannot be postponed for a long time."
Regionally, current market expectations dropped in the first quarter in the Northeast to 36.4, from 38.6, and in the South to 42.2, from 45.0. Expectations rose in the Midwest, increasing to 44.1, from 41.1, and in the West, up slightly to 42.9, from 42.2.
For more information about NAHB’s remodeling resources, click here.
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