Over the past 12 months, a variety of factors have spelled trouble for the remodeling industry. Investors had significant concerns about the stock market, which suffered a down year in 2011. The housing market plodded along across much of the country. And the uncertainty regarding the fiscal cliff, debt ceiling and presidential election had people uneasy.
These trends have taken a turn for the better in recent months. The NYSE ended 2012 up 12.9%, so many homeowners have seen their 401(k)’s swell. Rising housing prices in many areas means people have more equity in their homes. Concern around the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling have cooled (for now), while we know who will be occupying the White House for the next four years.
As a result, the outlook is quite a bit brighter for the remodeling industry today. The January 2013 “Improving America’s Housing” report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University puts it all into perspective:
“After languishing near the bottom for several years, the remodeling market finally appears to be pulling out of its prolonged downturn, and renewal of the nation’s housing stock is getting underway. Previously foreclosed properties are being rehabilitated. Sustainable home improvements are gaining in popularity. Older homeowners are retrofitting their homes to accommodate their future needs. And the future market potential is immense, as the emerging echo boom generation [i.e. children of baby boomers] is projected to be the largest in our nation’s history.”
More Inquiries, Bigger Jobs
At Custom, we’re definitely feeling the impact of renewed optimism among homeowners. We’re getting more inquiries — and for larger projects, like kitchens and bathrooms and additions.
We feel like we’ve done a good job weathering the storm of the last few years. We have the staff in place to handle increased demand, both in the field and at the office. And we’ve continued to invest in safety and skills training for our team. We’re excited about 2013 and ready to go!
As a homeowner, you might want to stay ahead of the curve and start talking to prospective remodelers sooner rather than later. After all, more of your neighbors are going to be updating kitchens and bathrooms too. And as we’ve said many times before, be sure to watch out for “fly-by-night” contractors who lack experience with remodeling and/or operate without construction licenses.
To set your home improvement project in motion, call us at 781-648-2835 or visit our website at custom-contracting.com.