Second Quarter Prices Released

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On 4/1/2008 we uploaded the most recent pricing data. All subscribers should have received an email from RemodelMAX notifying them of this. Some of the pricing trends that RemodelMAX chose to highlight are as follows:

1st Quarter Material Trends

  • Concrete prices have fallen since last December’s peak.
  • Gypsum gained 2% during the last 2 months, but prices remain extremely low.
  • Plywood and lumber continued a slow decline in price during the 1st quarter.

Remodeling Activity Projected to Remain Sluggish
Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Tighter credit standards and falling consumer confidence are expected to depress remodeling spending through 2008 according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. The Leading Indicator for Remodeling Activity (LIRA) reports that homeowner spending for home improvement activity will continue to decline, falling by an annual rate of 2.6% through the third quarter of 2008.

“Fewer home sales and falling home prices are dampening interest in spending on home improvements,” notes Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “While remodeling expenditures are likely to continue to slump in 2008, there will remain a need for basic home improvements for an aging housing stock.”

“An expanding economy has helped cushion the remodeling market,” remarks Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program of the Joint Center. “Absent a more serious national downturn, remodeling activity is expected to see only modest declines in 2008.”

Foundations for Future Growth in the Remodeling Industry is available at www.jchs.harvard.edu 

Remodeling Activity Declines Slightly
National Association of Home Builder’s

Remodeling activity showed pressure from the housing downturn during the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI). The current market conditions indicator decreased to 40.9 from 46.2 in the third quarter. And the future expectations measure declined to 37.9 from 43.3 in the previous quarter.

The RMI measures remodeler perceptions of market demand for current and future residential remodeling projects. Any number over 50 indicates that the majority of remodelers view the market conditions as improving.

“While the housing downturn has impacted the remodeling market to some degree, it is on a much smaller scale than the rest of the market” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Mike Nagel, CGR, CAPS, a remodeler from Chicago. “Home owners realize the importance of maintaining their property and making necessary repairs to support the value of their homes, so we expect this type of work to start to pick up again.”

Nationally, the RMI components for major additions and alterations during the fourth quarter declined to 42.28 (from 46.89). Minor additions and alterations also decreased to 41.76 (from 47.07) except for an increase in the South region to 49.81 (from 43.68). Maintenance and repair remodeling work declined to 38.11 in the fourth quarter (from 44.31).

“The decline in the remodeling market is far less than in the new home market and generally consistent with our remodeling forecast,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders.

The RMI “special questions” section during the fourth quarter asked remodelers about business conditions during 2007 and their expectations for the entire year of 2008. Forty-three percent of respondents reported an increase in billing in 2007, while 25 percent reported that billing stayed at the same level as in 2006. With respect to 2008, 51 percent predict a dollar volume increase and 27 percent predict maintaining the same volume for the entire year. These results suggest that while remodelers see slower conditions in their business during the short term, the long-term prospects look good with a remodeling market recovery by the end of 2008.

For more information visit www.nahb.org/remodel

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