Home remodeling appears to be growing even more steadily that other sectors of the residential construction industry.  Building permits for improvements to existing residential buildings increased in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.51 million.  This is 2 percent above the revised June rate of 3.46 million and 16 percent higher than in July 2012.  Permits then were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.03 million.

The remodeling data was released by BuildFax.  Its Chief Technology Officer Joe Emison said, "The national upward trend in remodeling is unmistakable with the notable exception of the Northeast, in which the major cities (Boston, New York) have seen substantially less residential remodeling this year than last year, even though overall permit volumes have remained close to last year's totals."

As Emison pointed out, seasonally adjusted rates of remodeling in the Northeast did take a serious tumble, down 32 percent from June and 52 percent from a year earlier to 476,000 permits.  There were 1.30 million permits for remodeling issued in the South, an increase of 6 percent from June and 4 percent from July 2012.  The Midwest increased 3 percent month-over-month to 1.08 million permits which was a staggering 80 percent improvement over one year earlier.  In the West there were 868,000 new permits, an increase of 8 percent and 16 percent respectively. 

The BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI) is based on construction permits for residential remodeling projects filed with local building departments across the country.  The national and regional indexes are based upon a subset of representative building departments in the U.S. and population estimates from the U.S. Census.