NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) slipped under pressure from a softening labor market, dropping two points to 45 in the second quarter of 2012. The downward adjustment comes after the RMI reached 48 twice in 2011, the highest reading since 2006.
The RMI is based on a quarterly survey of NAHB remodelers that asks them to rate current remodeling activity along with indicators of future activity, like calls for bids. An RMI below 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is lower (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is higher.
In the second quarter, the RMI component measuring current market conditions dropped to 46 from 49 in the previous quarter.
Current conditions for maintenance and repair and minor additions and alterations remained relatively strong in the second quarter. The weakest part of the market continues to be major additions and alterations (jobs valued at $25,000 or more). Larger projects are especially likely to be constrained by continuing tight credit conditions and inaccurate appraisals that make customer financing difficult.
Meanwhile, the RMI component measuring future indicators of remodeling business remained unchanged at 44, as declines in calls for bids (from 47 to 44) and appointments for proposals (from 45 to 42) were offset by increases in the backlog of jobs (from 43 to 46) and amount of work committed for the next three months (from 42 to 43).
For more detail on all RMI components and subcomponents, along with their history, see NAHB’s RMI web page: http://www.nahb.org/reference_list.aspx?sectionID=136