Unusually wet weather toward the end of the year hindered remodeling activity in the fourth quarter of 2004, according to the NAHB.
NAHB's Remodeling Market Index for current conditions for that period was one point lower than the quarter before. Although the RMI is seasonally adjusted, an NAHB press release cited weather as the major reason for the decline. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, 2004's September to December period was the sixth-wettest on record, going back to 1895. While parts of the Northwest — specifically Washington, Oregon, and Montana —were quite dry, the rest of the nation experienced heavy rainfall, particularly the East, which was hit especially hard this hurricane season.
The future expectations portion of the index rose, however, lending support to predictions that the future is still bright for the remodeling industry. “Calls for bids and appointments for proposals are still coming in, leading us to expect a healthy 2005,” David Seiders, NAHB's chief economist, said in the press release announcing the data.
Indeed, the component of the index that increased the most was appointments for proposals, which seems to indicate an increase in the number of projects breaking ground in the spring.