BuildFax, provider of building permit data, delivers the index monthly as a source of national remodeling data.
The latest BFRI index, detailing remodeling activity from January 2011, indicated that residential remodeling activity experienced the fifteenth straight month of year-over-year gains. “The first month of 2011 showed increased remodeling activity compared to a year earlier, even with the harsh weather present in many parts of the country,” says Joe Emison, vice president of research and development at BuildFax. “Remodeling activity traditionally dips during the winter months, however January 2011 showed surprising strength for the market and the month was better than or equal to January 2010 in every region of the country.”
The index for January rose 22 percent year-over-year—and for the fifteenth straight month when comparing year-over year numbers—in January to 99.0, the highest January number in the history of the index, which started in 2004. Residential remodels in January were down month-over-month 4.8 points (5 percent) from the December value of 103.8, and up year-over-year 17.6 points from the January 2010 value of 81.4, according to the index.
All regions posted year-over-year gains, although the Northeast continues to lag behind the other regions. For the first time in four years, the Northeast posted a year-over-year gain in January (4.6 points, 7 percent), but the January 2011 Northeast value is 18 points below the January 2007 value.