Remodelers nationwide continued to report robust conditions in the second quarter versus a year earlier, but that optimism is fading a bit, particularly with design/build firms and architects, the latest Houzz Renovation Barometer revealed today.
The barometer, based on a survey June 29-July 14 of 2,659 professionals that use Houzz, found readings of 67 to 77 for the second quarter versus the same period in 2015; a reading over 50 means more firms are reporting higher business activity than those who say business has declined. When compared with how they fared in the first quarter, the various subgroups posted readings of 63 to 78.
For the year-over-year listings, those scores in recent quarters were as high as 80 for design/build firms and general contractor remodelers. Design-related sectors--a group that encompasses architects, designers, and design/build firms--have seen their barometers decline for four consecutive quarters.
"The outlook for Q3 continues to point toward positive growth in all sectors," Houzz said in its highlights report. But at the same time, it said, "the gap between scores for architects and [interior and building] designers realitve to other sectors has widened considerably, indicating that market gains are not as widespread as in prior quarters."
Of the 2,659 total respondends, 680 were general contractors/remodelers, 431 were design/build firms, and 435 were in building renovation specialties such as home improvement jobs.
Here's how those groups fared year-over-year in terms of inquiries, number of new projects/orders, and the size of new projects/orders:
"The scores are considently lower than those in Q1 2016 by an average of 4% across all sectors, in terms of the number of inquiries and the number of new projects/orders," Houzz said. "The average decline is just 2% for the size of new projects and orders."
Demand for kitchen and bathroom renovations remained strong, with more than half of the remodeling-related respondents saying business was up year over year. And purchases of high-end products also showed promise:
As before, a preponderance of the growth came from requests by baby boomers, followed by Gen X-ers, with projects from millennials trailing far behind.