BuildZoom Launches Remodeling Index to Provide Quantitative View into Residential Remodeling Activity

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Initial Findings Reveal that New York and Seattle have Surpassed Pre-Crisis Levels While Miami and Atlanta Continue to Slowly Recover

BuildZoom, the intelligent marketplace for remodeling and construction services, today announced the launch of the BuildZoom Remodeling Index with coverage of residential remodeling activity in New York, Seattle, Miami and Atlanta through September 2014.

Using data on over 50 million building permits from sources across the United States, the BuildZoom Remodeling Index tracks changes in permitted residential remodeling and maintenance activity in several major metropolitan markets on a monthly basis. The index complements the US Census’ Building Permits Survey, which tracks new housing starts on a monthly basis.

“The BuildZoom Remodeling Index is a natural extension of our mission to use data to bring greater transparency, accessibility and value to the industry," said Jiyan Wei, Co-Founder of BuildZoom. “The same data that helps people make better individual decisions on BuildZoom every day, will now contribute to a greater understanding of this enormous market."

For decades, the real estate industry has been using a data-driven approach to keep close tabs on trends in new construction yet there there hasn't been the same level of analysis put into remodeling and home improvement activity.

“Public attention tends to focus on new homes,” said Issi Romem, Chief Economist for BuildZoom. “But in some US cities it is particularly difficult to expand the housing stock with new construction, and much of the action is in the upgrading and re-purposing of existing real estate. At BuildZoom, we have made it our goal to shed light on this aspect of the housing market, which until now has largely remained hidden.”

The index will report on activity leading up to and including the last month. It will highlight month-over month and year-over-year changes as well as compare performance to pre-crisis peaks and troughs. The long-term plan is to provide a true national index. The current release provides coverage of New York, Seattle, Atlanta and Miami and highlights several key points:

1. From the pre-crisis peak to the post-crisis trough, residential remodeling activity in New York and Seattle fell by approximately 25%. Both areas have recovered and surpassed their pre-crisis peaks.

2. In September 2014, New York experienced its highest level of residential remodeling activity on record.

3. Remodeling activity in other parts of the country was hit much harder by the housing market crisis than it was in New York. In Miami and Atlanta, residential remodeling activity plunged by 60% and 85%, respectively.

4. Although both Miami and Atlanta have seen remodeling activity increase since the real estate crisis, neither has returned to pre-crisis levels.

“The housing markets in Miami and Atlanta were more buoyant than most before the crisis,” said Romem. “Although the current rate of remodeling in Miami and Atlanta may be too low to maintain the housing stock in good repair over an extended period,” he added, “we should not necessarily expect – or even want – remodeling activity to revert to its highest levels pre-crisis.”

The full report, covering activity through September 2014, including graphs and methodology, can be viewed at http://blog.buildzoom.com/introducing-buildzoom-remodeling-index

About the BuildZoom Remodeling Index

The index tracks changes over time in the extent of residential remodeling and maintenance activity in U.S. metro areas, on a monthly basis. The index draws on the company’s massive collection of building permit data from cities and counties throughout the nation, and directly addresses the current absence of timely information on residential remodeling activity.

About BuildZoom

BuildZoom is the intelligent marketplace for remodeling and construction services. The company simplifies the process of selecting a home improvement contractor and improving the outcomes of remodeling and construction projects. By gathering and analyzing information on 3.5 million licensed contractors and 50 million improvement projects, the company has brought new levels of transparency and accountability to a notoriously difficult industry.

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Jiyan Wei
BuildZoom
+1 (310) 569-1991
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