In talking with various closet companies across the country, the remarks I hear are often the same: “we’re extremely busy and business is very good.” These anecdotal assertions about just how well things are going are certainly backed up by the latest research.
According to several experts including the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS), remodeling is likely to accelerate during the second half of the year and remain elevated through 2022.
The NKBA/John Burns Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI) is also forecasting continued growth with its recent market indicator released in late August showing another quarter of record growth. And this is all occurring despite material and labor challenges.
“While we’re seeing the continued delay of materials and increase in labor costs causing problems and concerns, it also shows that the skyrocketing demand for remodeling projects has continued,” said Bill Darcy, CEO of Hackettstown, New Jersey-based National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).
Some of the surge in recorded activity is not just from professional remodelers; DIYers are growing the market as well.
“Larger gains in retail sales of building materials suggest the remodeling market continues to be lifted by DIY activity as well,” said Abbe Will, associate project director in the Remodeling Futures Program at JCHS. “By the middle of next year, annual remodeling expenditures to owner-occupied homes are expected to surpass $380 billion.”
The Freedonia Group also noted an increase in DIY projects during the pandemic. According to a recent survey by the research group, sales of home organization products rose 10% in 2020, boosted by a surge in DIY home renovations. Closets and garages were the two areas that saw the largest share of product sales.
Also boding well for the industry, Freedonia found professional projects and product sales are expected to outpace DIY product sales in part due to convenience and the higher value of professionally installed products.
Other factors likely to keep the market blazing are the frequent occurrences of natural disasters from the forest fires out West to hurricanes hitting the Gulf Coast and the impacts of flooding in the Midwest and Northeast. All these devastating events will require the thousands impacted to rebuild and/or remodel their homes which, while resulting in sales revenue, could put even more strain on the already fragile supply chain.
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