“The year-over-year gains in both indexes hold true for every region across the board, indicating the continued strength of the market,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. “What’s more, substantial year-over-year gains are apparent for every single component of the future expectations index — including calls for bids and the amount of work committed for the next three months for both owner- and renter-occupied dwellings, plus overall job backlogs and appointments for proposals.”
Minor additions and alterations (less than $25,000) among both owners and renters improved seven points over 2002’s fourth quarter, rising to 50. Major additions and alterations increased by 12 points, also hitting 50. Maintenance and repairs rose by two points, also hitting 50.
Consumers Become More Knowledgeable
Results of “special questions” in the latest RMI provide valuable insight into today’s customer expectations, the public’s view of the remodeling industry and common reasons why people remodel.
While fly-by-night contractors have plagued the industry and damaged its reputation for a number of years, 70% of respondents felt the public’s image of ithe ndustry has improved.
“As consumers become more sophisticated in their choices and more knowledgeable about remodeling, they can decipher who are the ‘fly-by-nighters’ and who are legitimate contractors who continue honing their professional knowledge and skills to better their craftsmanship,” said Sutton.
Consumers have become more sophisticated in their knowledge of, and participation in, their remodeling projects, according to the 565 professional remodelers who were surveyed for the latest index. Fifty-seven percent of respondents noted that customers are better informed on remodeling projects, up from 47% when the same question was asked in 2000 during the NAHB Remodelers Show.
More than 53% of respondents said their customers have a greater awareness of brand names of products and appliances and more often than not request product and material information before making decisions about what to buy
The leading reason why consumers remodel is to obtain more space, the survey found: 79% reported that this was a motive for remodeling, up from 65% in a previous survey at the Remodelers Show.
Also, consumers remodel as an alternative to purchasing another home: 73% listed this as a reason for remodeling, up from 54% in a 1996 Remodelers Show poll.
Consumers also want more amenities in their homes, 66% of the survey respondents reported, up from 34% in 1996. Sixty-two percent of respondents said today’s home owners remodel because they require their homes to adjust to their lifestyle changes.
BuilderBooks.com Offers Publications for Remodelers
BuilderBooks.com offers a variety of publications about remodeling. To view or puchase these publications online, click here, or call 800-223-2665 to order by phone.
University of Housing Offers Courses and Designation Programs
The NAHB University of Housing offers a variety of business management courses and professional designation programs that set builders and remodelers apart from the competition. For a complete list of current offerings, click here.
Make Your Connection With www.nahb.org
Make your connection to the latest housing industry news and information with www.nahb.org — the official public and members-only Web site of NAHB.
Log in today to register for educational seminars, meetings and networking events; find important economic and housing data; and learn the latest developments in NAHB’s efforts to promote housing. It’s all available to you 24 hours a day at www.nahb.org. Just click the "Member Log In" button to get started.
If you are a member and need information about NAHB products and services, use the NAHB Staff Contact Directory to look up the direct telephone extensions for NAHB staff experts.