Real Estate Index Provides Only Source of National Residential Remodeling Data;
April Data is Highest to Date Since Index Began Tracking Data in 2004
Austin, TX – June 15, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Today BuildFax unveiled its BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI) for April 2011 and it shows that the beginning of spring had many across the country remodeling and renovating their homes. Today’s report reveals continued year-over-year gains, with data demonstrating that consumers are continuing to invest in remodeling, even while the economy continues to struggle and the real-estate market continues to experience sales decreases coast to coast. In addition, the Index reveals that there were 10 percent more remodels in April 2011 compared to April 2004, the first month tracked by the Index.
April Signifies a Year and a Half of Industry Growth
The latest BFRI index, detailing remodeling activity from April 2011, indicates that residential remodeling activity registered the eighteenth-straight month of year-over-year gains, demonstrating that many Americans are continuing to remodel their current homes, rather than purchasing new homes.
The BFRI is the only source directly reporting residential remodeling activity across the nation with monthly information derived through related building permit activity filed with local building departments across the country. This monthly report provides month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons on trends in remodeling activity for the entire United States, as well as for the four major regions of the country: Northeast, South, Midwest, and West.
All Regions of the Country See Gains:
The April 2011 index rose 15% year-over-year—and for the eighteenth straight month—in April to 109.7, the highest April number in the index to date.
“April traditionally sets a baseline for the rest of the year in residential remodeling activity, and April 2011 is the best we’ve seen since the beginning of the index in April 2004,” said Joe Emison, Vice President of Research and Development at BuildFax. “The BFRI is indexed to start at 100 in April 2004 and here we are seven years later, after significant drops in housing value, and the index is almost 110. That means there were almost 10 percent more residential remodels in April 2011 than in April 2004. Given the relatively pessimistic economic news that we heard about April, including a slowing recovery, this is a nice surprise for the industry.”
Historic index values (going back to early 2004) are available for purchase from http://index.buildfax.com/.
In April, all regions posted month-over-month gains, and only the Midwest posted a year-over-year loss. The West was up 16.8 points (18%) year-over-year and up 5.3 points (5%) month-over-month. The Midwest was down 16.9 points (19%) year-over-year and up 10.7 points (17%) month-over-month, recovering slightly from a lower-than-average March. The Northeast was up 3.2 points (5%) year-over-year and 9.1 points (14%) month-over-month, and the South was up 9.6 points (11%) year-over-year and 10 points (12%) month-over-month.
BuildFax in the News:
Last week, BuildFax announced that it has successfully closed a new $4 million round of funding, led by DMGI and with the support of Environmental Data Resources Inc. (EDR) which is wholly owned by DMG Information Inc., the business information division of Daily Mail and General Trust, plc. The round of funding follows a $9 million investment by the same group in 2009, bringing the total amount of funding for BuildFax to $13 million. Funds will be used to fuel accelerated growth of BuildFax’s B2B and home investor offerings.
In addition, last week BuildFax unveiled a strategic partnership with Equifax (NYSE:EFX) to give property & casualty insurance carriers a more complete view of underwriting risks while uncovering any key changes to their portfolio since policy inception.
About BuildFax (www.buildfax.com):
BuildFax, a division of BUILDERadius, is the creator of the first and only national database of historical building permit data. Co-headquartered in Austin, Texas and Asheville, North Carolina, BuildFax has created a proprietary property intelligence engine that contains building and permitting information from 4,000+ cities and counties throughout the country. Local building departments in each of these towns across the country inspect construction to make sure it meets quality and safety standards; as such it is an absolutely critical part of the public safety infrastructure. BuildFax is then able to consolidate this information into the dataset, which is a tremendous asset to professionals in the insurance, financial services, inspection, and appraisal industries, as well as buyers and sellers of property. As the best and only source of a structure’s “life story,” the BuildFax database continues to grow, currently covering over 60 percent of the U.S. commercial and residential building stock with 6 billion data points.