May was a record month for a remodeling index

The BuildFax Remodeling Index for May 2011 reported that despite high unemployment rates and falling home prices, remodeling activity has reached a new high. The index, released July 18, was reported to be up 22% with a value of 124.3 for May, the highest number since the index’s introduction in 2004. Furthermore, BuildFax reported, May marked the 19th straight month for year-over-year gains in the remodeling industry. Consumers, the data show, are continuing to invest in remodeling and are choosing to remodel rather than purchase new homes.

The BFRI reports trends in remodeling activity by region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West), as well as remodeling data for the entire United States. The May 2011 index reported month-over-month gains in all regions, and year-over-year gains in all regions except the Midwest, which has lagged behind the other regions in year-over-year comparisons for the last three months.

In month-over-month comparisons, the Northeast index rose 12%, the South 7%, the Midwest 18% and the West 7%. Year-over-year data showed that the Northeast was up 9%, the South 10%, the West 21%, and the Midwest had declined by11%.

BFRI values dating back to early 2004 are available for purchase on the BuildFax website. 

Separately, BuildFax said it will begin to offer its BuildFax Buyer's Reports service to consumers. The reports, which provide information about repairs and upgrades made to specific homes and searchable by address, were previously available only to industry professionals.