Remodeling Demand Is Strong Despite Material and Labor Shortages

Remodeler’s confidence increased in the third quarter, with the NAHB/Royal Building Products Remodeling Market Index (RMI) posting a reading of 87, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The NAHB/Royal Building Products RMI survey asks remodelers to rate five components of the remodeling market as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” Measuring each question on a scale from 0 to 100, a reading above 50 indicates that a higher share view conditions as good rather than poor.

“Demand for remodeling remains strong, and remodelers are doing quite well as long as they can adequately deal with material and labor shortages,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Steve Cunningham, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Williamsburg, Virginia. “So far, a substantial share of their customers have been willing and able to tolerate the extra cost and delays of requested remodeling projects.”

The Current Conditions Index averages three components: the current market for large remodeling projects, moderately-sized projects and small projects. The Future Indicators Index averages the current rate at which leads and inquiries are coming in and the current backlog of remodeling projects. The overall RMI averages the Current Conditions Index and the Future Indicator Index. Any number over 50 indicates that more remodelers view remodeling market conditions as good rather than poor.

The Current Conditions Index averaged 90, a four-point increase compared to last year. All components also posted increases compared to the third quarter of last year: large remodeling projects ($50,000 or more) increased six points to 86, moderately-sized remodeling projects (at least $20,000 but less than $50,000) increased five points to 91 and small remodeling projects (under $20,000) increased up one point to 91.

The Future Indicator Index averaged 84, up seven points YoY. Both components increased as well: the current rate at which leads and inquiries are coming in rose five points to 83 and the backlog of remodeling jobs increased eight points to 85.

“We are seeing strong demand and continued optimism in the residential remodeling market, despite the fact that supply constraints are severe and widespread,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz in a statement. “For example, well over 90% of remodelers in the third quarter RMI survey reported a shortage of carpenters. And 57% of remodelers reported having slightly raised prices for projects over the last six months, with another 28% indicating a significant increase in price, due in part to higher material costs and ongoing strong demand. Half of these remodelers reported some pricing out of demand due to higher prices for remodeling projects.”

For the full RMI tables, please visit
www.nahb.org/rmi.

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