The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) fell for the second straight quarter, according to a midyear release from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Through the second quarter of 2007, the current conditions index sat at 44.8, down from 46.1, and the future expectations index dropped from 46.5 to 44.1. Anything above 50 is considered positive, though this is the seventh straight quarter the industry has not reached that mark.

NAHB Remodelers chairman Mike Nagel remained upbeat, however, citing one of the common themes characterizing the remodeling slowdown in light of a softening new-home market. “We may have seen a decline in the number of major remodeling projects,” he said in a press release announcing the data, “[but] the market has been buoyed by an increase in the number of homeowners requesting smaller-scale projects and home alterations.”

NAHB chief economist David Seiders largely agreed with remodelers who weren't too rosy about the prospects for remodeling in the immediate future. “We expect some further erosion in the second half of this year and in 2008,” he said, noting that he expected a “gradual recovery” to begin in 2009.

Source: National Association of Home Builders