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BuildFax Remodeling Index for May Sets Mark for Highest Level of Remodeling Activity on Record

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The BuildFax Remodeling Index (BFRI) for May 2011 showed that as the temperature rose across the country, May 2011 became the month with the highest level of remodeling activity since the Index was introduced in 2004.

Today's report reveals continued month-over-month gains for every region of the country, with data demonstrating that consumers are continuing to invest in remodeling, even as home prices continue to dip and unemployment continues to rise.

The latest BFRI, detailing remodeling activity from May 2011, indicates that residential remodeling activity registered the nineteenth-straight month of year-over-year gains, demonstrating that many Americans are continuing to remodel their current homes, rather than purchasing new homes.

The BFRI is the only source directly reporting residential remodeling activity across the nation with monthly information derived through related building permit activity filed with local building departments across the country. This monthly report provides month-over-month and year-over-year comparisons on trends in remodeling activity for the entire United States, as well as for the four major regions of the country: Northeast, South, Midwest, and West.

All Regions of the Country See Gains:

The May 2011 index rose 22 percent year-over-year - and for the nineteenth straight month - in May to 124.3, the highest number ever in the index to date.

"Through the first five months of 2011 we have seen impressive gains within the remodeling index and May has continued that trend with a record setting month," said Joe Emison, Vice President of Research and Development at BuildFax. "Even with the continued struggles in the economy, the remodeling industry has been a bright spot, as consumers look to make upgrades to their current homes, rather than purchasing a new residence. Based on the trends from the first months of this year, we expect to continue seeing strong gains from coast to coast."

Historic index values (going back to early 2004) are available for purchase from http://index.buildfax.com/.

All regions were up month-over-month, with the Northeast up 9.8 points (12%), the South up 7.3 points (7%), the Midwest up 16.3 points (18%), and the West up 8.7 points (7%). Even though the Midwest was up month-over-month, it continues to lag the other regions (as it has for the past three months) in year-over-year performance, down 10.6 points (11%) year-over-year. All other regions were up year-over-year, with the Northeast up 7.2 points (9%), the South up 9.5 points (10%), and the West up 20.7 points (21%).

About BuildFax (www.buildfax.com): BuildFax, a division of BUILDERadius, is the creator of the first and only national database of historical building permit data. Co-headquartered in Austin, Texas and Asheville, North Carolina, BuildFax has created a proprietary property intelligence engine that contains building and permitting information from 4,000+ cities and counties throughout the country. Local building departments in each of these towns across the country inspect construction to make sure it meets quality and safety standards; as such it is an absolutely critical part of the public safety infrastructure. BuildFax is then able to consolidate this information into the dataset, which is a tremendous asset to professionals in the insurance, financial services, inspection, and appraisal industries, as well as buyers and sellers of property. As the best and only source of a structure's "life story," the BuildFax database continues to grow, currently covering over 60 percent of the U.S. commercial and residential building stock with 6 billion data point.

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