- According to a survey included in the National Association of Home Builders' first-quarter Remodeling Market Index (RMI), the desire for newer or higher quality home features is the most common reason homeowners decide to remodel.
- The second most popular reason for a remodeling project is to replace or repair older items, and the third is to create more living space.
- The NAHB said the responses as to why homeowners would remodel have remained more or less the same since first posing the question in 2012. The exceptions to that trend are the ratings for "aging in place" and "to increase the value of the home," which have become more of a homeowner priority, and "energy or environmental efficiency," which has become less important to owners.
The NAHB's Q1 RMI survey also revealed a dip in requests for smaller-scale renovations and home maintenance and repair. However, the RMI saw an uptick in major additions and alterations, even as future market conditions — calls for bids, committed work, proposal appointments and job backlog — fell across the board. Of the large projects, remodelers said they saw increases in whole house remodels (10%), room additions (12%), finished basements (8%) and bathroom additions (7%), but bathroom and kitchen renovations were still the most popular home improvement projects.
The overall RMI recorded a quarter-over-quarter decrease of four points, a dip of one point for current market conditions and a six-point loss for future market conditions.
The trend away from homeowner preference for energy-efficient remodels came as a surprise, as a Dodge Data & Analytics report last year found that about 69% of builders and 78% of remodelers indicated they believe customers will pay more for green.
Another remodeling index, the first-quarter 2016 Renovation Barometer report from home design platform Houzz, found that confidence in the home remodeling industry was up quarter over quarter but down from the first quarter of 2015. Houzz also reported that remodelers faced a tough skilled labor market, particularly when it came to finding enough qualified carpenters and framers — the most in-demand trades.