Good to be in Austin or Texas for that matter!

With real estate markets around the country still struggling, the data pointing to a strong recovery in the Austin and Texas markets as a whole continue to roll in. A new remodeling index, called the Residential Remodeling Index (RRI), was rolled out last week and it’s clear that Texas is heading in the right direction. Of the 366 MSAs sampled, Texas holds 4 of the top 6 spots, with Austin sitting pretty at number five.

The index was built to track overall remodeling activity in 366 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and to benchmark that activity against the high water mark of 2007 – generally accepted to be the peak year for remodeling. In addition to tracking normal metrics like remodeling permits, the index is also taking into consideration “demand”, which they are extrapolating by ranking MSAs according to the number of households that are “most likely to undertake remodeling projects”. They also include a forecasting component that uses various economic variables that have shown a high correlation with remodeling activity – data such as a median income, household growth, and existing home sales.

Regardless of the methodology, the data is supporting what we’ve anecdotally seen in our own business – that remodeling activity in Austin is really picking up pace. We stay in close contact with other builders and remodelers, real estate agents, vendors and subcontractors, and all the data we hear points to a strong year for Austin’s remodeling market.

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