Remodelers’ Confidence Slips; Grab Bars in Demand
The assessment of remodelers of current market activity in this year’s second quarter slipped from 46.1 to 44.8 on a seasonally adjusted basis and their future expectations dropped more than two points to 44.1 on the NAHB Remodeling Market Index (RMI).
Any number exceeding 50 would indicate that the majority of remodelers view market conditions as improving.
"While we have experienced some weakening in the remodeling market, activity has remained relatively steady," said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Mike Nagel, CGR, CAPS, a remodeler from Chicago. "We may have seen a decline in the number of major remodeling projects; however, the market has been buoyed by an increase in the number home of owners requesting smaller scale projects and home alterations."
Regionally, the Northeast showed some improvement with the RMI current market reading jumping from 43.4 in the first quarter to 49.5, and future expectations remaining relatively flat at 44.1 compared to the previous quarter’s reading of 44.3.
But other regions of the country were mostly down in the April to June period. Current conditions in the Midwest fell from 47.5 to 44.5 and future expectations moved from 44.7 to 43.7. In the South, those barometers dropped from 45.9 to 42.3 and from 50.7 to 45.0, respectively. Results for the West were a mixed bag, with current conditions in the second quarter trailing those of the first three months of the year, at 46.8 compared to 48.2, but future expectations climbing in an ascent from 45.0 to 46.0.
"Not surprisingly, the remodeling market is following the downswing we are seeing in the overall housing market," said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. "We expect some further erosion in the second half of this year and in 2008, followed by a gradual recovery in 2009 and beyond."
Components of the RMI measuring the difference between activity in the home owner and rental markets found the multifamily sector weaker. Current home-owner remodeling jobs remained relatively flat, at 47.5 compared to 47.7 in the first quarter, but remodeling of rentals skidded from 44.5 to 39.1. Future expectations softened from 46.4 to 43.2 for owner-occupied units and from 41.4 to 37.3 for rentals.
Special questions on the second-quarter survey focused on aging-in-place remodeling work.
According to those findings, 72% of respondents reported that their company is involved in home modification work relating to aging-in-place — up from 60% in 2006.
Among the most popular aging-in-place remodeling projects of those involved in this market:
- Installing grab bars, 90%
- Higher toilets, 75%
- Curbless showers, 63%
- Widening doorways, 56%
More than 75% of survey respondents noted an increase in the number of requests for aging-in-place features over the past five years as their customers planned for their future needs (78%), were living with older parents (54%) or were facing acute age-related disabilities.
For more information, e-mail Liz Warin at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8495.