The significantly positive results have a lot to do with homeowner security, remodelers say. "Remodelers are indicating major growth in the future, with many saying that clients are feeling more stable in their financial future and their employment situations; therefore, they are spending more freely on remodeling needs," says Tom O'Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman of NARI's Strategic Planning & Research Committee and president of O'Grady Builders, based in Drexel Hill, Pa.
Growth indicators in the last quarter of 2012 are as follows:
- Current business conditions up 2.1% since last quarter
- Number of inquiries up 3.9% since last quarter
- Requests for bids up 3.7% since last quarter
- Conversion of bids to jobs up 3.5% since last quarter
- Value of jobs sold is up 4.3% since last quarter
Throughout 2012, the Remodeling Business Pulse produced less statistically significant increases and decreases; however, the fourth-quarter data shows movement in highly important business areas such as conversion rates and value of jobs.
Although they provide positive marks, NARI members are realistic about the reasoning, saying many consumers are spending on remodeling out of necessity. Still, according to the data, expectations for 2013 are even brighter. Two-thirds of remodelers forecasted the next three months positively, and the rating jumped 13.1% from last quarter.
Drivers of this positive outlook continue to be postponement of projects (81% reporting) and the improvement of home prices (51% reporting).
Of the small segment predicting declines, 91% cited uncertainty of the future with commentary focused largely on tax increases and leadership issues in Washington.
"Now that the election is over, consumer confidence is starting to grow and so has remodelers' confidence," O'Grady says. "NARI members are looking forward to having a well-deserved, productive year ahead."
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