According to a recent industry report, hurricane recovery efforts in areas adversely affected by the 2017 hurricane season may help reinvigorate national remodeling activity that was largely stalled in the third quarter.
WarmlyYours, a radiant heating company that specializes in electric floor heating systems, released its “2017 Third Quarter Industry Report” in early November. One of the most significant findings that the report contained was evidence that areas like Houston, which had been adversely impacted by Hurricane Harvey, were actually demonstrating not just recovery but the potential for fourth quarter resurgence in terms of remodeling activity. Because of this, WarmlyYours projects a Q4 growth of radiant heating sales of 15% in the metro market of Houston.
The report, which is a quarterly assessment of the sales of radiant heating products within the wider context of the remodeling industry, also analyzes other remodeling benchmarks like the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA found that Q3 2017 remodeling activity was essentially flat and that an acceleration isn’t expected until 2018; however, the Joint Center did acknowledge that the full scope of the impact of the 2017 hurricane season is yet to be seen.
“And while it’s too early for our LIRA model to capture the effects of recent hurricanes and other natural disasters experienced around the country, there is certainly potential for even stronger growth in remodeling next year as major reconstruction and repairs get underway in affected regions,” said Abbe Will, research associate in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center.
Many experts believe that Houston’s quick recovery is due in larger part to a strong economy. With more than 100,000 homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey and nearly 30 trillion gallons of water dropped in Houston-area, one of the most common forms of interior damage is ruined flooring.
“For the houses that flooded, this means most first floor hardwood, laminate, and carpet floors must be replaced. And while Houston does enjoy warm average temperatures, the nights can be very cool and many surfaces like tile, marble, and stone can be uncomfortably chilly. For these reasons, we’ve already seen an increase in consumer interest in the Houston area for quotes and orders of electric floor heating systems. We expect this trend to hold strong until roughly mid-December and then pick up again slightly after the holidays in the beginning of Q1 2018,” according to the WarmlyYours report.
Additionally, the report projects fourth quarter growth in the metro markets of Buffalo, N.Y., and Salt Lake City, Utah, of 5% each due to Q3 job growth and relatively fluid housing markets.