With all industry groups reporting increased market activity in the second quarter of 2017, the remodeling platform Houzz has added a new metric to their quarterly report, the Houzz Renovation Barometer Backlog Index, which details the average number of weeks until a firm could start work on a new mid-size project given its current commitments.
According to the report fielded June 27 to July 10 to roughly 2,500 U.S. residential construction experts, general contractors/remodelers and design-build firms report the longest backlogs with 7 and 7.4 weeks on average, while interior designers have the shortest with 4.3 weeks. Architects and specialty firms range in the middle with 5.2 to 5.9 weeks.
Although GCs/remodelers and design-builds seem to be the busiest in all areas of the country, the regional averages for the backlogs vary. In the Northeast, remodelers report an average 6.4-week backlog, while design-builds have an average of 7.7. In the West, the longest delays out of all regions and groups exist with a range of 7.9 weeks to 8.3 weeks for remodelers and design-build companies.
“The Barometer is pointing to strong market conditions for home renovation professionals, with business confidence at similar levels observed this time last year,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz, in a press release. “Western firms stand out with an uptick in confidence year-over-year and backlogs of more than three months, in large part driven by strong job markets and significant home price appreciation over the past few years in urban centers."
Besides the regional data, the new index breaks down the project backlogs by 20 top metropolitan areas. Boston, Seattle, Portland, Ore., and San Jose, Calif., have project backlogs exceeding three months (12.6 to 13.9 weeks). Comparatively, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, and Phoenix, have the shortest delays starting at 2.9 weeks and ranging to 4.8.
In addition to the Backlog Index, the Houzz Renovation Barometer posted high confidence readings of 63 to 78 in quarter-over-quarter gains in Q2 2017 and year-over-year readings of 65 to 78.
Looking forward to Q3 2017, predictions remain strong with five out of the six industry groups expected to have increased confidence scores in October when the Q3 report is released.