On the way up, every sell-side strategist points to remodeling as a leading indicator for the housing recovery as confidence in the value of their home prompts real people to "invest" in upgrades and remodel their homes. That has been the story... until now. As NARI reports, the Remodeling Business Pulse (RBP) data of current and future remodeling business conditions show current condition ratings fell significantly in March - in fact they fell from multi-year highs to one-year lows as "homeowners remain slow to make the decision to move ahead with higher-priced projects." Of course, weather is blamed, and they are 'optimistic' about the future, but one look at the chart below and it is clear something changed...
Business conditions during the first three months of 2014 dropped to 6.07, down from 6.51 in December.
There was a decline in all but one of the sub-components that drive the overall current rating. Conversion of bids and sales value of jobs had the largest dip.
Growth indicators in the first quarter of 2014 are as follows (rating is from 1 to 9, where 1 is much worse than a year ago and 9 is much better; 5 is about the same as last year):
- Current business conditions fell to 6.07 (from 6.51 last quarter)
- Number of inquiries remained flat at 6.24.
- Requests for bids had a slight drop to 6.16 (down from 6.22 last quarter)
- Conversion of bids fell significantly from 6.03 to 5.71.
- Sales value of jobs sold declined to 5.84 (down from 6.27 from last quarter).
More certainty about the future moved down to the No. 3 spot, at 39 percent.