2021Q3 Houzz Renovation Barometer - Architectural & Design Sector
Findings from the Q3 2021 Houzz Renovation Barometer, which tracks residential renovation market expectations, project backlogs and recent activity among businesses in the architectural and design services sector.
The Expected Business Activity Indicator related to project inquiries and new committed projects declined to 70 in Q3 (compared to 74 in Q2): This is a result of a significant decrease in expectations for project inquiries to 70 (compared to 77 in Q2). Expectations for new committed projects remained the same at 70. Among the two reporting business groups, expectations among interior designers increased to 78 in Q3 (compared to 73 in Q2). Following unusually high expectations among architects in Q2, the group is tempering their anticipation of project inquiries and new committed projects in Q3 with an eight-point decrease in overall expectations to 66. See additional subsector and regional data (PDF).
The Project Backlog Indicator declined to 7.2 weeks nationally at the start of Q3: The overall backlog for the architectural and design services sector is slightly less than a month (2.7 weeks) longer than the same period last year. Among the two reporting business groups, interior designers’ backlog increased to 8.5 weeks (up 3.8 weeks relative to Q2), while architects’ project backlog decreased to 6.5 weeks (down 4.1 weeks relative to Q2).
Backlogs across all regional divisions vary from 5.6 weeks (East South Central division) to 9.1 weeks (Middle Atlantic division) across the nine Census divisions. Compared to the same quarter one year ago, backlogs are longer across all nine Census divisions as reported by firms in the architectural and design services sector.
The Recent Business Activity Indicator related to project inquiries and new committed projects slightly decreased to 72 in Q2 (compared to 75 in Q1): The overall indicator follows recent project inquiry activity, which declined to 74 in Q2 (down two points, relative to Q1), and new committed projects declined to 71 in Q2 (down four points, relative to Q1). Among the two reporting business groups, overall recent activity increased to 72 (up three points) as reported by interior designers and decreased to 72 (down seven points) for architects. The recent business activity among firms in the architectural and design services sector is significantly above its levels reported since 2015. See additional subsector and regional data (PDF).
The Q3 2021 Barometer was fielded from June 27 through July 7 and garnered responses from 268 architects and 402 interior designers on Houzz (n=670 in the architectural and design services sector). See detailed methodology here (PDF).
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