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Remodeling index flat, NAHB revises index through 2006

The National Association of Home Builders said its remodeling index remained mostly flat during the first quarter.

The NAHB also said it revised the RMI going back to 2006 due to a recently discovered computer coding error. The error had slightly reduced the true values of the overall index, as well as its two major components.

The revisions generally show a point or less quarterly increase, with quarter-to-quarter patterns remaining relatively unchanged. Some of the subcomponents experienced larger revisions but in a counteracting fashion, so that the impact on the primary indicators was muted.

NAHB said remodeling activity remained relatively flat in the first quarter of 2012, decreasing one point to 47 from the upwardly revised 48 in the previous quarter.

The RMI combines ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future activity. An RMI below 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is lower compared to the prior quarter than report it is higher.

In the first quarter, the RMI component measuring current market conditions dropped one point to 49, while the component measuring future indicators of remodeling business fell two points to 44.

“We are seeing that the demand for remodeling work has been pulled forward because of a mild winter,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman George “Geep” Moore Jr., owner/president of Moore-Built Construction & Restoration Inc. in Elm Grove, La.

“That is why many remodelers reported lower numbers for future activity.”

The three components measuring current market conditions moved in different directions in the first quarter: Major additions remained even at 44; minor additions rose one point to 52; and maintenance and repair dropped four points to 51.

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