By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Home improvement is on more home owners’ radar as the home remodeling industry recently saw its biggest gains in more than four years. Experts are pointing to the uptick as a long-awaited recovery that is finally taking shape in the home improvement industry.
The National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Marketing Index rose to its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2006, increasing to 46.5 in the first quarter of 2011. However, the index still falls below 50; anything below 50 indicates more remodelers are reporting decreasing activity than increasing.
Nevertheless, the latest index report shows remodeling activity inching closer to reaching that 50 mark. "Remodelers report a jump in activity so far this year and have been receiving more calls for work and appointments," says Bob Peterson, remodeling chairman for NAHB. "However, many home owners are still slow to commit to remodeling due to feeling uncertain about the economic recovery and difficulty obtaining loans."
The top reasons holding home owners back from remodeling: difficulty in getting financing, loss of equity in homes, uncertainty about future economic situation, and reluctance to invest in home when not sure home will hold its value.