A recent survey of over 2,000 professionals in the housing and construction fields seems to coincide with the sunny outlook offered by a number of economists, mainly that the housing market has already hit bottom and things are starting to improve.
Hanley Wood (parent company of Remodeling magazine) commissioned Readex Research to conduct a 2012 – 2013 Economic Outlook Study that polled remodelers, builders, architects, dealers, and distributors to get their opinions about the state of the economy, as well as gauge their views for future growth. Over 2,200 building professionals responded with the largest segment (639) being remodelers.
Most of the respondents were fairly optimistic about the future with 12% stating that they felt the market was strong now and another 29% expressing that the market would be strong in a year. More than half of the respondents said that the market would be stronger by 2015.
In terms of revenue growth, 51% of remodelers surveyed expect their revenue to be up by 10% or more in 2013. Optimism abounds in other sectors as well since over 70% of multifamily builders expect a revenue bump of 10% or more next year as do 68% of dealers/distributors. Over 60% of both residential architects and single-family home builders also expect a similar revenue boost while only 41% of commercial architects said they expect such an uptick.
With the exception of multifamily builders, all respondents felt that remodeling had the most potential for growth in the next two years. The remodelers who responded said that baths (61%), repairs and maintenance (58%), and kitchens (56%) were the biggest prospects for growth. In a similar vein, 67% of residential architects and 52% of commercial architects said that remodeling has the highest growth potential for their sectors in the coming years. Likewise 62% of dealers and distributors said that remodeling and replacement work was likely to have the most impact on their businesses.
All respondents agreed that the most positive impacts upon their growth was consumer demand and low mortgage interest rates, while the most negative impacts were the federal debt and the continuing polarization of the political atmosphere.
“These numbers should reassure professionals throughout the building and construction trades that it might finally be okay to believe the good news coming from various economists,” says Sal Alfano, editorial director of Hanley Wood’s Residential Remodeling Group. “Remodelers in particular should be prepared not just for new business coming their way, but to actively pursue new business.”