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Remodelers forecast a bright 2013

By
From page C20 | January 18, 2013 |

Current conditions, activity forecast hit highest level to date

DES PLAINES, Ill. — The National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s fourth-quarter Remodeling Business Pulse data of current and future remodeling business conditions has experienced significant growth across all indicators, with forecasting in the next three months hitting its all-time highest level.

The significantly positive results have a lot to do with homeowner security, remodelers say.

“Remodelers are indicating major growth in the future, with many saying that clients are feeling more stable in their financial future and their employment situations; therefore, they are spending more freely on remodeling needs,” said Tom O’Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman of NARI’s Strategic Planning & Research Committee and president of O’Grady Builders, based in Drexel Hill, Pa.

Growth indicators in the last quarter of 2012 are as follows:

  • Current business conditions up 2.1 percent since last quarter
  • Number of inquiries up 3.9 percent since last quarter
  • Requests for bids up 3.7 percent since last quarter
  • Conversion of bids to jobs up 3.5 percent since last quarter
  • Value of jobs sold is up 4.3 percent since last quarter

Throughout 2012 the Remodeling Business Pulse produced less statistically significant increases and decreases; however, the fourth-quarter data shows movement in highly important business areas such as conversion rates and value of jobs.

Although they provide positive marks, NARI members are realistic about the reasoning, saying many consumers are spending on remodeling out of necessity.

As one NARI member put it: “Homeowners are still concerned about spending money but will do so because they cannot postpone any longer. They are spending more conservatively than they did prior to the crash.”

Still, according to the data, expectations for 2013 are even brighter. Two-thirds of remodelers forecasted the next three months positively, and the rating jumped 13.1 percent from last quarter.

Drivers of this positive outlook continue to be postponement of projects (81 percent reporting) and the improvement of home prices (51 percent reporting).

Of the small segment predicting declines, 91 percent cited uncertainty of the future with commentary focused largely on tax increases and leadership issues in Washington.

“Now that the election is over, consumer confidence is starting to grow and so has remodelers’ confidence,” O’Grady says. “NARI members are looking forward to having a well-deserved, productive year ahead.”

Visit the NARI.org site to get tips on how to hire a remodeling professional and to search for NARI members in your area.

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