The NAHB Remodeling Market Index (RMI) continued to climb, although at a modest pace, in the third quarter of 2013. Rising two points to 57, this marks the highest reading of the RMI since the first quarter of 2004.
An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future remodeling activity. The RMI’s current market conditions index rose from 54 in the previous quarter to 58, the highest reading since the creation of the RMI in 2001, driven partly by rising existing home sales.
All three major components of the RMI’s current market conditions index increased in the third quarter. Major additions and alterations increased from 51 to 55, minor additions and repairs from 55 to 58, and maintenance and repair from 57 to 59. The future market indicators component of the RMI remained even with the previous quarter reading of 56.
Regionally, the RMI has registered two consecutive quarters of gains in the Northeast, Midwest, and West. In the South, the RMI edged down slightly in the third quarter after a five point gain the quarter before. All four regions were above 50 and higher in the third quarter than in the first quarter of 2013.
In addition to rising existing home sales, which support remodeling activity as owners fix up their homes before and after a move, remodeling has benefitted from rising home values. This boosts home equity that owners can tap to finance remodeling projects.