Remodeling Indicators Show Increase in Second Quarter

July 25th, 2014 by Casey Flores

Most indicators in the 2014 Remodeling Business Pulse (RBP) survey pointed to growth in the remodeling industry this quarter. The survey, conducted by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), offers a more positive report than it did last quarter, which showed a decline in business conditions during the first three months of 2014.

Growth indicators in the second-quarter 2014 are as follows (rating is from 1 to 9, where 1 is much worse than a year ago and 9 is much better; 5 is about the same as last year), according to the report:

 

Indicator Q1 Q2
Current business conditions 6.07 6.29
Number of inquiries 6.24 6.38
Requests for bids 6.16 6.29
Conversion of bids 5.71 5.83
Sales value of jobs 5.84 6.20

 

“This quarter didn’t show much change in conditions driving growth,” says Tom O’Grady, chair of NARI’s Strategic Planning Committee. “People needing to do postponed projects remain the number one driver at 80 percent, and improving home prices, at 59 percent, continues at number two. What is encouraging — is that the value of jobs sold had a statistically significant growth.”

Economic growth, at 47 percent, was the no. 3 condition driving growth, a jump from 37 percent in March.

Jim Lett, president of A.B.E. Doors and Windows, attributes the growth to a couple of factors. “A good portion of [growth this quarter] is because of pent-up demand from the winter, but I think that also alerted people to the need to start replacing their doors and windows for energy savings,” he says.

The three-month for outlook for business, though, declined for the first time since September 2013, dropping in June to 6.32 from the previous high posted in March of 6.51. However, market activity remains positive, with only 8 percent of remodelers reporting any level of decline versus the 70 percent who are seeing some level of growth.

“As the industry slowly recovers from the 2008 downturn and comparisons are being made to healthier year-ago periods, we may see these ratings soften some,” O’Grady says.

Many of the comments in the survey attribute the negative business outlook to two common themes: pricing and lack of skilled labor.

The results were relatively equal regionally with the Midwest showing the strongest rating for current conditions at 6.39 versus 6.29 for the total United States. The outlook for future growth was strongest in the South at 6.42 versus 6.32 for the country.

This news comes along with a second-quarter increase to the NAHB Remodeling Market Index.

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