NAHB Releases Remodeling by Zip Cost Estimates for 2017

The National Association of Home Builders (“NAHB”) recently released its latest projections of spending on improvements to owner-occupied housing by zip code. The projections show total spending on improvements, the number of owner-occupied homes, as well as average spending per improvement, in each of over 26,000 zip codes for calendar year 2017.

The estimates are based on a model relating improvement spending to five key variables: number of homes in the area, the share built in 1960s, share built in the 1970s, owners’ average income and level of education. Income and education, of course, tend to be correlated with each other.  So it is interesting that, even after controlling for income, the model is able to tease out a separate effect showing that home owners with higher education tend to spend a bit more on home improvements.

In the average zip code, home owners who improve their homes in 2017 will spend $6,148 per remodeling project. As you would expect in a country as large as the U.S., there is considerable variation.  Across the zip codes on the list, average spending per improvement ranges from under $2,300 to over $22,000.

At the top end, as indicated on the map, zip codes where home owners spend the most per improvement project tend to be concentrated in the high-cost areas on the coasts, especially in New York and California.  However, Florida zip code 33109 (Fisher Island, just off the coast of Miami Beach) ranks third from the top in the entire country, with average spending per home improvement project of $21,124.

Some of the top zip codes in terms of dollars spent per remodeling project have relatively few owner-occupied homes. There are fewer than 250 owner-occupied homes on Fisher Island, for instance.

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