Residential remodels authorized by building permits rose 15% in July to 3,144,000 from the year-ago figure of 2,725,000, according to real estate data provider BuildFax.

The rate is 6% above the 2,975,000 remodels authorized in June.

“Remodeling activity rebounded in July after a slower June, and residential remodeling activity in 2012 remains significantly above what we saw in 2011,” said Joe Emison, vice president of research and development at BuildFax.

Seasonally-adjusted rates of remodeling across the country in July increased in every region across the nation from year-ago levels: the Northeast saw 765,000 (up 31% from July 2011); South, 1,420,000 (up 29%); Midwest, 507,000 (up 1%); and West, 846,000 (up 9%).

Home improvement spending in the U.S. could rise 4.5% this year and another 4% in 2013 as more homeowners stay put or revamp new property purchases, Fitch Ratings said.

BuildFax's 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.