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Remodeling continues to soar

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Residential remodeling activity hit a new high in July 2011, rising 24% in year-over-year comparisons, according to an index compiled by BuildFax, a national database of building permit data. It was the 21st-straight month of increases and the highest level of remodeling activity since the index was introduced in 2004.


Most regions of the country reported gains in July. The West showed a 3% increase, while remodeling activity in the Midwest grew 5% in month-over-month gains. In the South, gains registered 3%, while the Northeast saw a 3.4% decline. On a positive note, the Northeast was up half a point (.7%) from July 2010, as was the West (26%), the South (7%) and the Midwest (5.6%). 


There has been an upswing in the sales of building materials and the number of renovations greater than $10,000, according to BuildFax, indicating that homeowners are staying put rather than moving to new homes in these uncertain times. 


“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, VP 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.”


Based in Austin, Texas, BuildFax derives its remodeling index on monthly building permit activity filed with local building departments across the country.


Joe Emison will be speaking at the ProDealer Industry Summit on Oct. 27 in San Antonio. His topic will be “The demise of the ROI remodel and the rise of the ‘comfort’ remodel.” For more information, visit prodealer.com. e

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Remodeling continues to soar

BY Brae Canlen

Residential remodeling activity hit a new high in July 2011, rising 24% in year-over-year comparisons, according to an index compiled by BuildFax, a national database of building permit data. It was the 21st  straight month of increases and the highest level of remodeling activity since the index was introduced in 2004.

Most regions of the country reported gains in July. The West showed a 3% increase, while remodeling activity in the Midwest grew 5% in month-over-month gains. In the South, gains registered 3%, while the Northeast saw a 3.4% decline. On a positive note, the Northeast was up half a point (.7%) from July of 2010, as was the West (26%), the South (7%), and the Midwest (5.6%). 

There has been an upswing in the sales of building materials and the number of renovations greater than $10,000, according to BuildFax, indicating that homeowners are staying put rather than move to new homes in these uncertain times. 

"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, VP 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."

Based in Austin, Texas, BuildFAX derives its remodeling index on monthly building permit activity filed with local building departments across the country.

Joe Emison will be speaking at the ProDealer Industry Summit on Oct. 27 in San Antonio, Texas. His topic will be “The demise of the ROI remodel and the rise of the “comfort” remodel.” For more information, visit www.prodealer.com 

 

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Bleak long-term forecast for housing prices

BY Brae Canlen

Housing prices will remain depressed for the next several years and may get even worse, according to a just-released survey of economists, analysts, investors and housing experts. The survey was conducted by MacroMarkets, a firm founded by Yale University professor Robert Shiller.

The study found that although some local real estate markets are stable or strong, more broadly, fundamentals in the U.S. housing market remain very weak despite record-low interest rates. The MacroMarkets home price expectations survey said that that home prices will grow at a mere 1.1%, on average, through 2015. “Expectations for home price performance in 2011 have become somewhat less negative,” Shiller said. “Unfortunately, the average projection is somewhat more negative for each of the following four years.”

The survey polled a diverse group of 111 of economists, real estate experts, investment and market strategists. Not all were in agreement about what should be done — if anything — to correct the market. Almost three-quarters (73%) of the respondents think that further policy action is "highly likely" or "likely," while more than half (57%) said such action is undesirable, and almost half (49%) said additional government action is unnecessary.

“This data suggests that regardless of when and how housing recovers, controversy will persist regarding the role of government in the market,” said Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics, the firm that conducts the survey for MacroMarkets. “More than half of panel members who indicated that more policy action is desirable or necessary suggested specific measures the government might focus on,” Loebs said. “We received a variety of constructive proposals. Several panelists clearly want or expect the government to be a catalyst for more effective mortgage refinancing and modification initiatives, as well as rental and other home equity conversion programs.”

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Carter Lumber promotes roofing-price calculator

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Kent, Ohio-based pro dealer Carter Lumber is promoting a new, online custom roofing pricing tool. 

The tool is essentially a Web page that allows customers to enter the variables in their roofing projects. The tool calculates a rough estimate for the project, based on materials used, roof pitch and overall area. As the information page explains, "we’ll give you a free roofing estimate. Online. Right now."

The tool also promotes installation and rooftop delivery services. 

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