Here’s an interesting article I came across today:
As the housing industry continues to weigh the economic recovery, experts anticipate its remodeling sector will buck the trend and takeoff this year as homeowners start spending on upgrades and renovations.
Business reporters can gauge how their local remodeling market is recovering by turning to three key industry indices, finding the right industry experts, and checking in with both local remodeling retail shop owners and homeowners on local trends.
The best way to delve into the research is to look at your localized information from one of the indices. The National Association of Home Builders provides a quarterly Remodeling Market Index (RMI) that measures the remodeling market by gauging demand based on surveys of thousands remodelers in the U.S. The RMI is broken down into two indices – one that measures current activity and one that predicts future trends. Its survey questions focus mainly on the demand for major and minor additions and repairs and the amount of work remodelers have committed to them.
The NAHB’s index offers region-specific data that could be helpful in identifying unique trends in your area. For example, reporters in the Midwest will see that their region was the only region that experienced a decline in remodeling so far this year, according to 2011 first quarter RMI. The NAHB’s first-quarter survey also includes special questions on what would be keeping homeowners from remodeling – don’t miss that data.
Another telling remodeling industry index is Buildfax’s monthly Buildfax Residential Remodeling Index (BFRRI), once-private research that was launched for public use in January. It also provides regional information, but unlike NAHB’s RMI, the Buildfax index measures remodeling by tallying building permits for remodeling projects. It should give reporters a good sense of trends in larger additions and bigger-ticket remodeling spending.