Residential Remodeling to Continue Upward Trend

Homeowners across the U.S. seem to be reaching the same conclusion. It might be a long time before the real estate market improves. As a result, they are now spending more money improving homes than at any time since 2004.

BuildFax has been tracking building permit data nationwide for the past 7 years. This fall, the company reported, residential remodeling jumped 34%. During the early part of the recession, homeowners were only spending money on necessary maintenance projects. But now, more consumers are paying for projects that cost more than $10,000. Specifically, BuildFax analysts say the following projects are most popular these days:

  • Roof replacements 21.4%
  • Deck additions 7.9%
  • Bathroom remodels 6.9%

Joe Emison, VP research and development at BuildFax, sees the trend continuing because “these are immediate fixes they [homeowners] will enjoy and that potential buyers look for.” Emison also noted that previous remodeling frenzies were all about improving a home with the goal of a quick sale. Now, “it’s about – I am finally going to fix those things that are driving me nuts.”

Building permit activity has been rising year over year in 2011 in all regions except the Northeast:

  • West +43.5%
  • Midwest +15.9%
  • South +9%
  • Northeast (-4.7%)

With the sales of new and existing homes expected to be slow in comparison to recent levels, marketers of home improvement products and trades professionals such as plumbers and electricians can grow market share by advertising their services to homeowners.

[Sources: Canlen, Brae. Roof replacements, deck additions most popular. HomeChannelNews​.com. 16 Nov. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2011; Voorhis, Scott. Tinkering with your house? You are not alone. 20 Sept. 2011. Web. 5 Dec. 2011
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.