• Increased remodeling activity could be a sign that more homeowners are opting to stay in their current residences and upgrade.
  • During the past three years Fremont saw a 25 percent jump in home remodeling activity.
  • San Francisco experienced an eight percent year-over-year increase in remodeling activity.

The top markets for home remodeling in California last year include San Francisco and Fremont.

A recent report from BuildFax cites San Francisco as the 12th best city for home improvement permit activity nationally, as the volume of residential remodeling projects increased by 8 percent year-over-year. Overall, 4.5 percent of San Francisco homes were remodeled last year, with plumbing and electrical-related work being the most common types of upgrades.

Since 2013, the city of Fremont has experienced a 25 percent increase in home remodeling activity, the primary reason the market ranked 19th on BuildFax’s list.

Last year 3.7 percent of the city’s homes were upgraded, with roofing, solar and plumbing improvements representing the most common work. It was also noted that the city is considered by BuildFax to be one of the fastest growing markets for commercial remodeling.

What does home remodeling mean for the housing market?

An increase in remodeling activity within these Bay Area cities could be a sign that more homeowners are opting to stay in their current residences and upgrade, rather than purchasing a home in a highly competitive market with continuing double-digit price appreciation.

In January the median home price in San Francisco was up on a year-over-year basis by 14.3 percent. Fremont’s median home value was up even more, by 17.1 percent, according to Zillow.

Both markets also feature minimal existing for-sale inventory. Entering February, San Francisco County’s existing supply stood at 2.3 months. One month ago, Fremont’s existing inventory sat at only 78 homes, according to Movoto. In Alameda County, where Fremont is situated, for-sale inventory is at two months.

At the same time, both San Francisco and Fremont are considered to be hot seller’s markets where homes are still, on average, selling above their original list prices. This would lead one to believe that a portion of these cities’ overall remodeling activity is being driven by owners that are upgrading prior to listing a home.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription