dential improvement spending estimates, but we think this adjustment looks directionally correct. Very few users of the data really believed that the residen- tial improvement market crashed in 2014 (which is what the prior Census data suggested). We did not believe it, and neither did most analysts who cover the segment. Our clients who sell directly to the remodeling market certainly did not report a collapse in 2014. REVISION’S IMPACT ON OUR ESTIMATES There is virtually no impact on our repair and remodeling estimates due to the Census revision. While other well- known repair and remodel forecasts depend on Census C-30 data, our Burns Residential Repair and Remodel Spend- ing figures never have. If the GDP sta- tistic is revised, our historical estimates will undergo a very minor adjustment. WHYWE GOT IT RIGHT COVERAGE Our Burns Residential Repair and Remodel Spending figures have about twice the coverage as the Census estimates, resulting in nearly $300 billion of monitored market activi- ty compared to the Census-tracked component of about $145 billion. This is because we track owner and rental projects, including big (major remodels over $5,000; i.e., kitchen, bath, garage, decks) and small (cosmetic updates less than $5,000; i.e., paint, carpet, electrical). The Census improvement numbers only capture owner capital improvement spending but leave out rental projects and small projects. SAMPLE SIZE Our Burns Residential Repair and Re- model Spending figures are based on a sample size about 10 times larger than the Consumer Expenditure Survey,

which the Census uses for its residen- tial improvement spending estimates. VISIBILITY TO CHANGES IN BOTH PROJECT COUNT AND SPEND LEVEL This visibility lets us monitor trade-up and trade-down activity as consumers tackle different types of projects. This

type of detail is not available with ag- gregate spending estimates such as the Census C-30 series. •


Todd Tomalak is vice president at John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Contact him at or 920-373-6727.

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