Buildfax says its remodeling index, based on construction permits filed with local governments, hit its highest level since the index was started in 2004. That's not much of a history, and the index measures only the number of permits, not the value or size of the project. Even so, the year-over-year, 24 percent increase in the index shows something's going on. Click here to see the whole Buildfax release and fever chart for the indicator, which I was unable to reproduce.
Here's the canned quote:
Viewing the Economic Recovery Through Remodels
"As millions of Americans believe that they will not be able to secure a new home due to a variety of factors including tight credit, limited buyers and challenging job prospects, they are more and more turning to renovating and remodeling their current properties, sending remodeling activity to record levels," said Joe Emison, Vice President of Research and Development at BuildFax. "However, this remodeling boom is leaving many of these properties under-insured, as the value of these renovations are often not being captured by the homeowners' insurance companies."