PALO ALTO, CA - Home renovation and remodeling in the first weeks of 2015 are moving at a robust pace, according to the inaugural Houzz Barometer. The study also points to a small business recovery.

Houzz Barometer, to be published quarterly, tracks 600,000 home renovation and other services providers that are registered with the website.  index tracks confidence in the home renovation market among industry professionals. The inaugural Houzz Renovation Barometer posted an index value of 74 or higher across all company types for the last three months of 2014, indicating optimism about a continued industry rebound. Confidence in the industry’s recovery continues into 2015, with the Houzz Renovation Barometer posting an index value of 75 or higher for the first quarter.

“With a community of over 25 million monthly unique users, 90 percent of whom are homeowners, and more than 600,000 active home professionals, Houzz is in a unique position to provide unprecedented insights into the health of the home renovation, building and decorating industry,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “Barometer findings are consistent with other leading industry research and economic indicators of growth and confidence for the home improvement industry as baby boomers and growing families continue to invest in their homes.”

Houzz Barometer of Home Renovators Seeing Strong Start in 2015The Barometer Study found that the economic recovery reached very small firms (firms with fewer than five employees) in 2014. Overall, revenues are improving for firms of all sizes, many smaller interior designers, landscape professionals, builders/remodelers, specialty trade and other industry firms report aggressive rates of growth (50+ percent annually), and roughly a third hired new employees in 2014. Smaller residential architects saw more moderate growth rates, but similar hiring trends. Improvements were reported in the following areas:

Revenue: 2014 proved to be a year of high single to healthy double-digit revenue growth for the majority of businesses on Houzz. Across all size and professional categories surveyed, roughly one fifth of firms report annual growth rates in the five to 14 percent, 15 to 24 percent and more than 25 percent ranges.

Number of new projects: Revenue growth was fueled by an increase in the number of new projects, as reported by 70 percent of architects, interior designers, and builder/remodelers and nearly 80 percent of landscape, specialty trade, and other industry firms (e.g., custom cabinet manufacturers).

Scale of projects: More than 60 percent of all firms reported improvements in the scale of projects, in terms of contract dollars per project. Architects were the exception at 49 percent.

The vast majority of professionals are bullish for 2015. Over 80 percent of interior designers, landscape professionals, builder/remodelers, and specialty trade and 70 percent of architects expect revenues and profits to grow this year. That optimism translates to hiring plans, with nearly half of builders/remodelers and specialty trade firms expecting to grow their employee base this year. Despite the rosy outlook for the year, firms are concerned about shortages of qualified labor and subcontractors, the shift towards a budget-conscious homeowner, and the uncertain U.S. and world economic and political climates.

You can read the full Houzz Barometer full report or get the Houzz Barometer Highlights and Charts.

The Houzz Barometer study is conducted quarterly across a national panel of architects, builders/remodelers, interior designers, landscape architects/designers, landscape contractors, specialty trade, and other related categories (e.g., custom cabinetry manufacturers). n=5100.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish - online or from a mobile device. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin and Sydney. For more information, visit www.houzz.com

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