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As the weather started to cool and kids went back to school, remodeling activity continued to soar in 2011. Recently, BuildFax unveiled its BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI) for September 2011, which shows that remodeling activity reached a record high during the month. BuildFax also released data stating the most popular types of remodeling projects over the past five years.

The latest BFRI showed that September 2011 became the month with the highest level of remodeling activity since the Index was introduced in 2004 and represented the 23rd consecutive month of increases. In addition, BuildFax data revealed the most popular permitted residential remodeling jobs since 2006 have been roof remodels/replacements, followed by deck and bathroom remodels. The top eight types of remodels classified by BuildFax are:

1. Roof (21.4%)
2. Deck (7.9%)
3. Bathroom (6.9%)
4. Garage (6.1%)
5. Kitchen (4.8%)
6. Basement (2.9%)
7. Office (1.7%)
8. Sunroom (0.7%)

“Mortgage rates continue to be near record lows, and as homeowners from coast to coast refinance, they are continuing to update their current home and invest in their properties,” says Joe Emison, Vice President of Research and Development at BuildFax. “The data from BuildFax show that homeowners are not only doing important ‘maintenance’ projects, such as fixing their roof, but also taking on projects that add to the ‘livability’ of their homes by adding decks, remodeling their bathrooms and updating their kitchens. These are immediate fixes they will enjoy and that potential buyers look for.”

September Signifies 23 Consecutive Months of Industry Growth

The Residential BuildFax Remodeling Index rose 34 percent year-over-year—and for the twenty-third straight month—in September to 141.4, a new high number in the index. Residential remodels in September were up month-over-month 2.8 points (2 percent) from the August value of 138.6, and up year-over-year 36.3 points from the September 2010 value of 105.1.

The BFRI is the only source directly reporting residential remodeling activity across the nation with monthly information derived through related building permit activity filed with local building departments across the country. This monthly report provides month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons on trends in remodeling activity for the entire United States, as well as for the four major regions of the country: Northeast, South, Midwest, and West.

Half of Country See Month-over-Month Gains

In September 2011, the West (6.4 points; 4.6 percent) and the Midwest (5.73 points; 4.9 percent), all had month-over-month gains, while the Northeast (1.1 points; 1.5 percent) and the South (2.9 points; 2.9 percent) saw a decline. Regions up in year-over-year gains from September of 2010: the West (44.4 points; 43.5 percent), the Midwest (16.8 points; 15.9 percent) and the South (8 points; 9 percent). The Northeast dropped 3.7 points (4.7 percent).

For more information, visit www.buildfax.com.

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