AUSTIN, TX -- With millions of Americans either unable to secure a mortgage or having to remain in their current home because they cannot sell the property, remodeling activity continues to soar. Today, BuildFax unveiled its BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI) for July 2011 and it shows that remodeling activity reached a record high during the month. The data also indicates that as consumers are putting more discretionary income into their homes, there are now a record number of under-insured properties from coast to coast.
The latest BFRI shows that July 2011 became the month with the highest level of remodeling activity since the Index was introduced in 2004. During these historically difficult economic times there has been an upswing in the sales of building materials and the number of renovations greater than $10,000. These factors, and that fact that many consumers have not increased the insurance on their homes to account for the remodeling, puts many homes at risk as they are not carrying the proper level of insurance for the new, true value of their homes.
"As millions of Americans believe that they will not be able to secure a new home due to a variety of factors including tight credit, limited buyers and challenging job prospects, they are more and more turning to renovating and remodeling their current properties, sending remodeling activity to record levels," said Joe Emison, Vice President of Research and Development at BuildFax. "However, this remodeling boom is leaving many of these properties under-insured, as the value of these renovations are often not being captured by the homeowners' insurance companies."
Today's report reveals continued month-over-month gains for most regions of the country, with data demonstrating that consumers are continuing to invest in remodeling, even as fears grow of a double-dip recession and unemployment remains above 9 percent.
July Signifies 21 Consecutive Months of Industry Growth
The latest BFRI, detailing remodeling activity from July 2011, indicates that residential remodeling activity registered the 21st-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. 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.
Half of the Country See Month-over-Month Gains
The July 2011 index rose 24% percent year-over-year--and for the 21st straight month--in July to 130.4, the highest number ever in the index to date.
In July, the West (3.4 points; 3%) and Midwest (4.9 points; 5%) had month-over-month gains, while the South (3.3 points; 3%) and Northeast (2.7 points; 3.4%) saw a decline. On a positive note, the Northeast was up half a point (.7%) from July of 2010, as was the West (26.4 points; 26%), South (6.2 points; 7%), and Midwest (5.6 points; 5.6%).