In the February issue of Wood & Wood Products I surveyed representatives of the major woodworking market segments on their projections for 2012. The overall consensus for kitchen cabinets, residential furniture, architectural woodworking and store fixtures, was that 2012 sales would meet or beat those of 2011. Only the office furniture industry projected a slight downturn, though not a significant one.

The National Kitchen and Bath Assn., in its Kitchen & Bath Quarterly Market Report, found similar results. A survey of approximately 150 kitchen and bath dealers found optimism is high for first quarter 2012, despite a noticeable drop-off sales volume and revenue numbers at the end of 2011. The report surveyed kitchen and bath dealers on a variety of topics, including: showroom visits, kitchen and bath remodels sales volume and remodeling prices, and kitchen and bath revenue.

Despite a significant drop in revenue — 48 percent — in fourth quarter 2011 compared to the prior year period, 68 percent of the approximately 150 dealers surveyed for the study said they anticipate growth in the early part of 2012.

Here is a breakdown of the segments:

Although kitchen remodels sales volume was down 49 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, from the previous year’s figure, 73 percent of those surveyed said they anticipate seeing an increase in first quarter 2012. And although remodeling prices were down 14 percent compared to the same period in 2010, 35 percent are optimistic that they will see an increase in the first quarter 2012.

Similar results were found on the bath side. Although the NKBA Market Report found the bathroom remodel sales volume decreased 11 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the year prior, 62 percent of the dealers surveyed projected a pickup in early 2012. Bath remodeling prices only experienced a slight decrease in that time, down 3 percent from 2010.

In a statement, NKBA President Alan Zielinski CKD said, “Although numbers dropped off at the end of 2011, optimism is high and undeterred for the anticipated outcome of the first quarter in 2012. Dealers are very optimistic, with the NKBA Kitchen & Bath Market Index surging from +9 to +32.”

NKBA determines the market index by averaging the expectations of its dealer members, dividing by the number surveyed and multiplying by 10. The KBMI ranges from -60 (pessimistic) up to +60 (optimistic).

For more information about the NKBA’s report, visit NKBA.org

Read more of Karen's blogs.

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