More homeowners than at any time in at least a quarter century are embarking on renovations in the pandemic, according to the so-called Remodeling Market Index, or RMI.
Based on a quarterly survey of the National Association of Home Builders remodeler members, the RMI provides insight on market conditions as well as future indicators for remodeling.
The survey asks remodelers to rate five aspects of the market as good, fair or poor, with each question measured on a scale of 0 to 100. An index number of 50 indicates that a higher share of remodelers view conditions as good rather than poor.
The "Current Conditions Index" averages three components: the current market for large, moderately sized and small remodeling projects. The "Future Indicator Index" is an average of two components: the rate at which leads and inquiries are coming in and the backlog of remodeling projects. The overall RMI is calculated by averaging the Current Conditions Index and the Future Indicator Index.
The strong RMI reading reflects more Americans investing in home remodeling projects in the pandemic. Consumers are spending more time at home and want their environment to be more pleasant, analysts say. Assuming they haven't been caught up in the high unemployment rate, they may have more money to spend because they are going out less to restaurants, theaters and other events canceled because of the coronavirus.