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RISMEDIA, March 10, 2011—At $9.4 billion, Los Angeles County, C.A. leads the country for counties spending the most money on remodeling, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Rounding out the top five list is Cook County in Illinois, Orange and San Diego counties in California, and Maricopa County in Arizona.

The NAHB model uses data from the American Housing Survey—which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau—to estimate local remodeling based on home and homeowner characteristics. It is then applied to the information on every county’s homes and homeowners that the Census Bureau released late last year from its American Community Survey. The new NAHB estimates include remodeling spending per owner-occupied home.

“Total remodeling spending in a particular county is most strongly related to the number of homeowners in the county,” according to NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “On the other hand, we found that remodeling per home depends upon factors such as the share built before 1980, the share owned by married couples and, most significantly, the average value of the homes.”

Nantucket County, Mass. leads the nation on remodeling spending per home at $9,369. Other counties in the top five include New York County (Manhattan) and three counties in the San Francisco metropolitan area. In each of these counties, remodeling spending is more than $8,000 per owner-occupied home. In comparison, the average across all counties nationwide is $2,085.

“Many remodelers are seeing increased interest from homeowners on upgrading their home,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bob Peterson, CGR, CAPS, CGP, and president of Associates in Building & Design, Ltd. in Ft. Collins, Colo. “Investing in home remodeling brings the immediate satisfaction of enjoying a more comfortable dwelling, but can also support long-term home values.”

The counties with the highest total estimated spending on home remodeling include:
-Los Angeles County, Calif. – $9.4 billion
-Cook County, Ill. – $4.6 billion
-Orange County, Calif. – $4 billion
-San Diego County, Calif. – $3.4 billion
-Maricopa County, Ariz. – $3 billion

The counties with the highest estimated spending per owner-occupied home include:
-Nantucket County, Mass. – $9,369
-Marin County, Calif. – $8,755
-New York County, N.Y. – $8,716
-San Francisco County, Calif. – $8,443
-San Mateo County, Calif. – $8,053

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