width=298Some home owners are starting to take on improvement projects they previously pushed off due to financial constraints.

For the third straight quarter, the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) reported slight increases in its Remodeling Market Index (RMI). Although still far from ideal, NAHB chief economist David Croew said that markets are no longer deteriorating to the levels they were earlier this year.

The RMI is calculated through the use of member surveys that ask remodelers to describe the current market conditions and future expectations. Last month, NAHB released the most recent RMI, which rose from 34.2 to 38.7 from the previous quarter.

Some remodelers are receiving more calls for bids, but it is still extremely difficult to close a sale, said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Greg Miedema in a statement. The index remains below the break-even point of 50, and has been since the last quarter of 2005.

Many home owners are unable to secure a home equity loan or other lines of credit, which is holding up remodeling projects, Miedeman said.

But signs of continued improvement are on the horizon with the report showing a rise in calls for bids from 38.8 to 46.5, appointments for proposals growing from 40.3 to 43.5, and the amount of work committed for the next three months up from 23.3 to 27.5. The backlog of remodeling jobs also climbed from 34.4 to 37.2.

For more information, visit: www.nahb.org/remodel