Report: Construction Costs Rise as Home Values Fall

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As home values plummeted nationwide in 2008 a recent report by Xactware shows record-high fuel costs drove up construction costs throughout the year.

As home values plummeted nationwide in 2008 a recent report by Xactware shows record-high fuel costs drove up construction costs throughout the year.

Released today, Xactware's 2008 Property Report reveals the cost to rebuild increased about 3.95 percent nationwide with Hawaii, Alaska, California, Florida and Massachusetts reporting the highest costs to rebuild in the U.S. This means homeowners still need up-to-date insurance coverage based on construction costs, even though the National Association of Realtors reports home values have decreased an average of 15 percent across the nation.

"Many homeowners equate insurance coverage with the market value of a home," said Mike Fulton, Xactware's General Manager of Pricing Data Services, "but insurance coverage for your home is intended to cover the cost to rebuild the home if it is destroyed. It's not intended to be based on the property's market value."

With more than 250 combined years experience in construction and estimating, the in-house estimating staff of Xactware--a company specializing in property insurance, remodeling, and restoration estimating solutions--calculated the cost to rebuild per state. Xactware's staff also tabulated construction material price increases using data gathered from 467 markets in the U.S. and Canada.

The Property Report pinpoints record-setting rises in fuel costs during the summer of 2008 as the cause of price hikes across the construction industry, including materials, equipment, and labor. For example, petroleum-based 25-year composition shingle prices jumped 71.4 percent in 2008. Lumber and drywall costs also went up in the last half of 2008 because gas price spikes increased costs of production and distribution.

The 16-page report also includes these key findings:

  •     A close-up look at the effect of rising fuel costs on building material prices.
  •     The volume of insurance claims reported to Xactware per month.
  •     The average insurance claim value by type of loss.
  •     The rising popularity of green building material.
  •     How costs increased for reconstruction in each state.

By the close of 2008 fuel costs had dropped to levels not seen since 2004 but construction material prices had only decreased slightly.

"It's difficult to predict what will happen in 2009," said Xactware CEO Jim Loveland. "However, the 2008 Property Report offers a comprehensive overview of key indicators of the construction industry that can help in planning for the year to come."

In addition to the annual Property Report, the Xactware Pricing Data Services department also reports on industry trends and construction pricing changes throughout the year. This information helps insurance carriers and their policyholders make sure property coverage is always up-to-date.

The 2008 Property Report is available for media outlets to review upon request.

About Xactware
Xactware Solutions, Inc., ("Xactware") is a wholly owned subsidiary of ISO specializing in the property insurance, remodeling and restoration industries. Xactware's technology tools include estimating software programs for PCs and tablet PCs, as well as powerful online systems for replacement-cost calculations, estimate tracking and data trending in real time.

For more information about Xactware's products and services, contact Xactware at 1-800-424-9228 or contact us online at http://www.xactware.com/.

About ISO
A leading source of information about risk, ISO provides data, analytics and decision-support to professionals in many fields, including insurance, finance, real estate, health services, government, human resources and risk management. Using advanced technologies to collect, analyze, develop and deliver information, ISO helps customers evaluate and manage risk. The company draws on vast expertise in actuarial science, insurance, coverage's, fire protection, fraud prevention, catastrophe and weather risk, predictive modeling, data management, economic forecasting, social technological trends, and many other fields. To meet the needs of diverse clients, ISO employs an experienced staff of business and technical specialists, analysts and certified professionals. In the U.S. and around the world, ISO helps customers protect people, property and financial assets. For more information, visit http://www.iso.com.

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Chip Hopper
Xactware
801-764-5900
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