While the overall housing market remains weak, kitchen and bath remodeling continues to be a source of strength in the industry, according to the 2008 Kitchen/Bath Industry Outlook, which is published by the National Kitchen & Bath Association:
1. Remodeling a kitchen or bath becomes a high priority for homeowners looking to sell an existing home, creating a selling point in a sluggish market.
2. Homeowners not interested in selling will remodel the heart of the home to help shore up sagging real estate value, as well as make their home more livable as their circumstances change.
3. Lenders who have foreclosed on homes will have to enhance kitchens and bathrooms to make them attractive to potential buyers and, in some cases, will have to repair damage to those rooms done by disgruntled former occupants.
4. Baby boomers are aging and caring for aging parents themselves. They need to remodel their kitchens and baths to make them more usable for individuals with limited mobility.
5. Cocooning continues to be the dominant lifestyle trend, with consumers retreating to the privacy of their home for leisure time, which results in the rooms’ functions evolving to meet these new needs. The kitchen has become the family room where members socialize, while the bath provides spa-like amenities in an intimate meeting place. Economic uncertainty will intensify the impulse to cocoon.
6. The number of households with two earners continues to grow, which means that bathrooms have to change to accommodate the morning preparation of two adults at the same time.
7. The number of adults who cook as a hobby continues to grow, spurring kitchen remodeling to accommodate more ambitious cooks.
8. Media attention on kitchens and baths continues to grow, with television programs, Web sites, magazines and books giving consumers more choices in products, materials and styling. Consumers who are aware of choices will be likely to replace what they have with more desirable items.
9. Nearly 18 percent of all homes in the United States were built between 1970 and 1979, and another 16 percent were built between 1980 and 1989. Many of these houses have kitchens and baths in need of remodeling.
10. Electricity and water, mostly used by consumers in a home’s kitchen and baths, will become more expensive during the coming years, driving a new need for remodeling using more energy-efficient and water-conserving fixtures and appliances.
The executive summary of the NKBA’s 2008 Kitchen/Bath Industry Outlook can be downloaded at no charge and ordering information can be found atwww.nkba.org/industry_research.aspx.