Economic slowdown stalls remodeling activity
The residential remodeling market continued its slump during the third quarter of 2008, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI). The current market conditions indicator declined to 33.5, from 41.8 in the last quarter. Future expectations of remodeling work also slid to 27.7 (from 38.0 in the second quarter). Both these indices rest at historic lows since the start of the RMI in 2001.
“Remodelers reported another drop in major home improvements and expectations for future work have also declined,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Lonny Rutherford, CGR, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Farmington, N.M. “A slight increase in minor remodeling projects for owner-occupied home suggests customers are cutting back on home improvement spending.” Nationally, current activity for major additions and alterations shrank to 29.38 (from 43.18 in the second quarter) during the third quarter, while minor additions and alterations slowed to 38.51 (from 42.89). Maintenance and repair dropped to 30.92 (from 39.06). The remodeling market is tightening due to more home builders taking on remodeling work, creating a more competitive marketplace and flattening out calls for bids and appointments for proposals.