I just read a report in Qualified Remodeler, one of two major magazines catering to the remodeling contractor.
It says (between the lines) what I have been seeing in our market, in the San Francisco Bay Area.
That remodeling activity is cooling in every sector except the high end market.
The rich have plenty of money to spend.
But the middle class, who have been the backbone of the remodeling boom for a decade or more, are AWOL this year.
Between building and remodeling our sector has kept the nation booming, even with signals to the contrary; such as an expensive war, deficit spending and a dropping dollar
I think a number of factors are driving this trend:
1. Housing values are stagnant or dropping.
2. Incomes (except the executives) are not keeping up with inflation.
3. Massive household debt.
4. Tightening credit.
It'll be interesting to see what happens next.