The Remodeling Market Index hit its highest reading since the first quarter 2004, hitting 55 in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The fourth quarter report increased five points from the previous quarter.

Any RMI above 50 means most home improvement workers are reporting strong demand for their services.

“Remodelers are optimistic about the outlook for slow and steady market growth in the new year,” said 2013 NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bill Shaw. “Professional remodelers reported more work from large and small projects as well as overall home repair.”

Future remodeling activity indicators rose to 56, up from the previous quarter’s 49. Current conditions also revealed improvement, up from 52 in the previous quarter to 54.

“With existing home sales up, the increase in the RMI partially reflects the remodeling work new home owners undertake when they move in,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Consumers are gaining confidence in the economy and feeling more comfortable pulling the trigger on large and small renovations.”

The RMI in the Northeast saw the largest increase, jumping 24 points. This is due largely to the start of remodeling work related to Hurricane Sandy damage. All four regions of the country saw an RMI above 50.