Metrostudy Releases Q4 2017 Residential Remodeling Index (RRI)

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Remodeling Activity Continues to Climb on Solid Economy and Wages

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“Remodeling activity is robust, reflecting a U.S. economy with strong underlying growth. The most elusive indicator through the nine-year recovery has been wage growth, which finally made a strong showing during this past quarter,” said Mark Boud, Chief Economist at Metrostudy.

Metrostudy, a Hanley Wood company, announced today the release of its fourth quarter 2017 Residential Remodeling Index (RRI), detailing activity in the remodeling and replacement industry.

The Residential Remodeling Index closed out 2017 on a strong note, reaching a new all-time high of 111.3 in the fourth quarter. The latest reading marked a year-over-year increase of 4.9 percent and a steady 1.2 percent gain from the previous quarter. The RRI has now experienced twenty-three consecutive quarters of year-over-year gains since the bottom of remodeling activity in 2011.

The forecast for 2018 has strengthened, reflecting the strong economy and increased demand in areas that were hit by 2017’s natural disasters. The RRI is projected to average year-over-year gains of 5.2 percent throughout 2018, up from expectations of 4.7 percent in Metrostudy’s previous release. Longer term, the RRI is forecast to continue reaching new highs through 2020.

“Remodeling activity is robust, reflecting a U.S. economy with strong underlying growth. The most elusive indicator through the nine-year recovery has been wage growth, which finally made a strong showing during this past quarter,” said Mark Boud, Chief Economist at Metrostudy. “Several times in the past few years, wage growth appeared to be picking up, only to be downwardly revised in subsequent reports. However, there is greater optimism that 2018 pay gains will be more durable – job growth is steady and the unemployment rate has fallen to a 17-year low. A tight labor market translates to companies having to compete more intensely and pay higher wages for workers. At the same time that American workers receive more pay, the remodeling industry also stands to benefit greatly as mortgage rates rise from historical lows over the next few years. With the housing market tight and home prices high, higher rates will persuade more Americans to stay put and remodel the homes they currently have, rather than buy a new home.”

Metrostudy produces the RRI to provide the industry visibility into local market remodeling activity, forecasted future activity, and potential demand. According to the company’s fourth quarter report, all 381 Metropolitan Statistical Areas are forecast to see growth in project volume in 2018, and the average growth rate is expected to be 4.6 percent. This marks a continuation of trends observed in 2017, which was the first year since launching the RRI that all 381 MSAs were forecast to see growth, underscoring the current level of strength in the market.

For more information on accessing the full quarterly report, please email RRI(at)hanleywood(dot)com.

About the Residential Remodeling Index
The RRI is a quarterly measure of the level of remodeling activity in 381 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in the U.S., with the national composite reflecting the national level of activity. “Activity” includes home improvement and replacement projects, but does not include maintenance or projects of less than $1,000. The seasonally adjusted index shows the relative level of activity in the geography specified (MSA or national composite) compared to 2007 (the baseline year). A number above 100 indicates a level of remodeling activity higher than the level of activity at the beginning of 2007, which was the peak of remodeling activity in the prior decade.

The index is produced through a statistical model that leverages detailed data on remodeling activity, including household level remodeling permits, and consumer-reported remodeling and replacement projects. Quarterly historical results for the national composite and for each of the 381 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the U.S. are available back to 2004. In addition, Metrostudy also produces annual estimates of project counts and expenditures as well as forecasts of the quarterly RRI and annual projects and expenditures.

About Metrostudy
Metrostudy is the leading provider of primary and secondary market information to the housing and residential construction industry. Metrostudy’s actionable business intelligence informs investment decisions that mitigate risk and grow revenue for builders, developers, lenders, suppliers, retailers and manufacturers. It’s the construction industry’s only integrated data intelligence solution supported by the most extensive U.S. geographic coverage. Learn more at Metrostudy.com.

About Hanley Wood
Hanley Wood is the premier company serving the information, media, and marketing needs of the residential, commercial design and construction industry. Utilizing the largest analytics and editorially driven Construction Industry Database, the company provides business intelligence and data-driven services. The company produces award-winning media, both digital and print, high-profile executive events, and strategic marketing solutions. To learn more, visit hanleywood.com.

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