NAHB just released new estimates of spending on improvements to owner-occupied housing by zip code. The estimates are based on a model relating improvement spending to five key variables (number of homes in the area, the share built in the ’60s, share built in the ’70s, owners’ average income and level of education), projected to calendar year 2014. As before, the estimates show total spending on improvements, as well as spending per home, in each zip code.
On average, total spending on improvements in a zip code is projected to be about $5.1 million in 2014. The top 5 total-spending zip codes are all in Maryland, Texas, or Illinois. Each of these top 5 zips contains at least 15,000 owner-occupied homes and home owners who average at least $145,000 in income and are 60 percent or more college educated. Most of these top 5 zips don’t have an unusually large share of homes in the key vintage for remodeling (homes built from 1960 to 1979), except for the zip at the very top of the list—#20854 in Maryland, a close-in suburb of Washington DC. 20854 is the only zip where over $60 million in spending on improvements is projected for 2014, and over half the owner-occupied homes in that zip were built 1960-1979.
In the average zip code, improvement spending per home is just under $1,600. The top two zip codes by this measure are the same as they were in 2013: #94528 (in a suburb of San Francisco) and #10007 (in Manhattan). These are the only two zips with projected spending per home of over $5,000 (even over $6,000 in 94528), although several others come fairly close. This year, unlike last, a zip code in New Jersey cracked the top five—#07078, a suburb within commuting distance of New York City. Homeowners in the top 5 improvement-per-home zips are at least 92 percent college educated and have average incomes of at least $350,000. Nearly half the owner-occupied homes in top zip #94528 were built 1960-1979.
The improvement spending projections for 2014 are based on a statistical model developed by NAHB economists using data from the HUD/Census Bureau American Housing Survey and summary statistics for the Census Bureau’s approximation of zip-code areas from the American Community Survey. Members of NAHB Remodelers can log onto NAHB’s web site with their usernames and passwords and access improvement spending projections in more than 25,000 zip codes here. Projections aggregated to the state level are available to everyone, and are reproduced below: