NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) was 57 in the first quarter of 2015, off the historic high point of 60 at the end of 2014, but still above the key break-even point of 50. The RMI and each of its components lies on a scale of 0 to 100, where a number above 50 indicates that more remodelers report the market has improved than report it has gotten worse.
The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling conditions with indicators of future activity. Overall, current market conditions declined two points to 58, although smaller jobs continued to show strength: the maintenance and repair component of the RMI increased four points to 64—an all time high since the inception of the survey in 2001.
The index of future market indicators also declined, from 60 to 55, in the first quarter. All four of its subcomponents—calls for bids, amount of work committed for the next three months, backlog of jobs and appointments for proposals—declined but remained significantly above 50.
The indices above 50 mean that remodelers on balance remain positive about the improving market. The declines off fourth quarter peaks mean the positive outlook is not quite as widespread as it was at the end of last year. A shortage of labor in key trades is one factor restraining remodelers’ optimism. Another may be the harsh weather that struck many parts of the country during the first quarter of 2015, although this would have necessitated repairs and tended to have a positive effect on the RMI’s maintenance and repair component.