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Remodeling Market Index Rises to Five-Year High

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 - Remodeling sentiment rose to the highest level in five years, according to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI) for the fourth quarter of 2011. Released today, the RMI increased to 46.6 in the fourth quarter from 41.7 in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the RMI component measuring current market conditions rose to 48.4 from 43.0 in the previous quarter. The RMI component measuring future indicators of remodeling business was also positive, increasing to 44.8 from 40.4 in the previous quarter.

An RMI below 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is lower (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is higher. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future activity.

"As more consumers remain in their homes rather than move in this economy, remodelers benefited from a gradual increase in home improvement activity, taking us to a five-year high," said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bob Peterson, CGR, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Ft. Collins, Colo. "2011 ended on a strong note for the remodeling industry."

Current market conditions improved significantly in all four regions over the third quarter of 2011. The RMI reported higher market activity in two important categories: major additions 52.3 (from 45.2) and minor additions 50.1 (from 45.7).

Future market indicators in each region also experienced gains from the previous quarter. Two of the indices reported a level over 50: calls for bids at 50.7 (from 45.4) and appointments for proposals at 50.1 (from 43.3), while work committed for the next three months only rose to 31.5 (from 29.9).

"With several key components above 50, the latest RMI provides reason for guarded optimism going forward," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "The residential remodeling market has been improving gradually, mirroring the trend in other segments of the housing market. Stringent lending requirements and economic uncertainty continue to be a drag on demand, but we expect a modest growth in remodeling activity to continue throughout 2012."

For more information about remodeling, visit www.nahb.org/remodel.

ABOUT THE RMI: The RMI is based on a quarterly survey of professional remodelers, whose answers to a series of questions were assigned numerical values to calculate two separate indexes. The first index gauges current market conditions and is based on remodelers' reports of major and minor additions and alterations, plus maintenance work and repairs, on both owner- and renter-occupied dwellings. The second index summarizes indicators of future remodeling activity  and is based on remodelers' responses to questions about  calls for bids, amount of work committed for  next three months, job backlogs and appointments for proposals.

ABOUT NAHB REMODELERS: NAHB Remodelers is America's home for professional remodelers, representing the more than 14,000 remodeling industry members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Founded in 1982, the organization provides information, education and designation programs to improve the business and construction expertise of its members and to enhance the professional image of the industry. Its membership incorporates 148 local councils in 45 states. Learn more about remodeling at www.nahb.org/remodel.

Follow NAHB Remodelers on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NAHBRemodelers.

ABOUT NAHB: The National Association of Home Builders is a Washington-based trade association representing more than 160,000 members involved in remodeling, home building, multifamily construction, property management, subcontracting, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other aspects of residential and light commercial construction. NAHB is affiliated with 800 state and local home builders associations around the country. NAHB's builder members will construct about 80 percent of the new housing units projected for this year.

Follow NAHB on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NAHBMedia.

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