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Investing in America: Home Remodeling on a Roll
27 Mar 2012 EDT - CNBC.com
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America's housing market is still struggling to find solid footing amid millions of delinquent loans and foreclosed properties.

But as the wider economy begins to strengthen, and Americans start to feel better about their current and future finances, they are dipping their toes back into the housing waters, in the form of remodeling.

"Residential remodeling this winter is as strong as it has been in more than five years. We expect residential remodeling to continue to grow throughout 2012," says Joe Emison of Texas-based BuildFax, a division of BUILDERRadius and creator of the BuildFax remodeling index.

Residential remodeling, as measured by building permits in January, were at an annual rate of, up 13 percent from December and 11 percent from a year ago, according to BuildFax. The index shows particular strength in the Midwest and the West.

Sales of foreclosed properties may be helping the numbers, as investors have swarmed the market, buying up distressed properties and turning them into rentals. Many of those properties have been either abandoned or vandalized and need at the very least basic refurbishing and at the most full renovations.

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