Industry News

Real estate remodeling drops in 4th quarter

Interest rates, labor pool poised to impact industry

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Remodeling activity continued to slow in the fourth quarter of 2005, marking a six-month cooling trend, according to the National Association of Home Builders' Remodeling Market Index, released Tuesday. The seasonally adjusted RMI measures remodeler perceptions of market demand for current and future residential remodeling projects. Any number over 50 indicates that more remodelers view market conditions as expanding. The current market conditions dropped to 46.6 from 50.9, and the future expectations index moved to 47.5 from 51.8. "The rise in interest rates has slowed homeowner refinancing, often used to fund remodeling projects," said Remodelors Council Chairman Vince Butler. "The less frenzied housing market also contributed to a lowering of market expectations in the final quarter, but we still expect to see solid growth in the remodeling industry in 2006." Owner-occupied units shifted to 48.9 from 56.2, while the renter-occupied component grew to 40.4 from 37.9. In the futures...