While the data pertaining to housing starts hangs in limbo amid a government shutdown, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) was able to weigh in with its Remodeling Market Index (RMI) this week, posting a reading of 57 for the fourth quarter of 2018. The overall RMI averages current remodeling activity and future indicators. The latest reading, NAHB officials say, is just one point lower than the previous quarter. The RMI has been consistently above 50 since the second quarter of 2013, NAHB reports, indicating that more remodeling contractors report market activity that is higher rather than lower than prior quarters.

“The overall remodeling market remains strong, but there are signs of concern related to rising labor and input costs,” says NAHB Remodelers Chair, Joanne Theunissen, a remodeler from Mt. Pleasant, Mich. “Remodelers are battling sticker shock with many home owners who expect lower bids.”

Among the rating’s three major components, major additions and alterations remained steady at 56, minor additions and alterations decreased one point to 56 and the home maintenance and repair component fell one point to 59.
The future market indicators dropped three points from the previous quarter to 56, while calls for bids remained at 57. Meanwhile, several indicators suggest that remodelers could face slower months ahead, as the amount of work committed for the next three months decreased seven points to 52, the backlog of remodeling jobs fell three points to 59 and appointments for proposals decreased four points to 55.


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