Building permits for residential remodeling were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.14 million in July, an increase of 6 percent from June and 15 percent above than the 2.724 million permit rate of July 2011. 

According to Joe Emison, Vice President of Research and Development at BuildFax which released the figures on Wednesday, "Remodeling activity rebounded in July after a slower June, and residential remodeling activity in 2012 remains significantly above what we saw in 2011."

In the Northeast Region permits were issued at an annual rate of 765,000, up 11 percent month-over-month and 31 percent year-over-year.  In the South there were 1.42 million permits issued during the month, a 24 percent increase from June and 29 percent from July 2011.  The West had a 2 percent increase from June and 9 percent from July 2011 to an annual rate of 507,000.  Only in the Midwest did remodeling permits decline, falling by 4 percent from June and increasing only 1 percent on an annual basis.

The BuildFax numbers come from a national database of building and permitting information from over 5,000 cities and towns through the U.S.  The database covers over 60 percent of the nation's commercial and residential building stock.