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October 21, 2015
Industry Confidence Remains High Across Home Renovation Sectors, Yet Slight Seasonal Slowdown Reported, Houzz Study Finds
Q3 2015 Houzz Renovation Barometer Finds Widespread Shortage of Carpenters, Fewer Shortages in the Northwest

Houzz Inc., the leading platform for home remodeling and design, today released the Q3 2015 Houzz Renovation Barometer, which tracks confidence in the home renovation market among industry professionals. The Q3 2015 Barometer revealed that optimism in quarter-over-quarter market improvements remains high across industry professionals, with high index scores of 65* or higher in market confidence. However, readings for Q3 of 2015 are six to 11 percent lower than readings from Q2 across all industry groups. Landscape specialty firms are the exception, having reported a decrease of 21 percent, likely due to seasonal patterns.

Hiring remains a top challenge for renovation professionals across industry sectors in Q3. General contractors (GCs), remodelers and design-build firms report that carpenters are in the shortest supply across the U.S. (cited by 45
percent of firms), followed by framers (25 percent), tile (22 percent) and drywall specialists (21 percent). Interestingly, more than one in five architects and interior designers report shortages of general contractors (24 percent and 21 percent respectively). Labor shortages are reported to be most prevalent in the Midwest and least severe in the Northeast.

“Barometer readings consistently show year-over-year gains in the past three quarters of 2015, pointing to healthy improvements in the remodeling industry in 2015 over 2014,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “The headwinds slowing overall industry performance are widespread labor shortages, particularly in the Midwest.”

Additional findings from the Q3 2015 Houzz Barometer include:

  • Widespread New Business Growth: Firms report growth across the number of new business inquiries, and the number and size of new projects in Q3 (Barometer readings of 63-74, 66-74, and 60-69, respectively). Readings are down slightly from Q2 across all three leading new business indicators, likely due to the start of a seasonal slowdown, as well as the backlog of projects from the spring months, among other factors.
  • Year-Over-Year Gains Continue: Widespread year-over-year improvements continued across all industry groups in Q3 2015, relative to the same period in 2014. The Barometer posted readings of 74-79, largely in line with Q2 scores (75-83). Readings in excess of 70 points for all three quarters of 2015 point to strong industry confidence in renovation market improvements in 2015 relative to 2014.
  • Outdoor Specialty Confidence Varied by Region: While outdoor specialty firms are feeling the seasonal slowdown earlier than other industry groups, Northeastern and Midwestern outdoor firms are hit the hardest, as reflected by the 36 percent and 30 percent quarter-over-quarter decreases in Barometer scores for the third quarter, respectively. Meanwhile, outdoor firms in the South and West saw significantly lower decreases (21 percent and 10 percent respectively).

The full Houzz Renovation Barometer Q3 2015 report can be found here.

The Houzz Renovation Barometer study is conducted quarterly and presents analysis of responses to an online survey sent out to a national U.S. panel of architects, interior designers, general contractors/remodelers, design-build firms, and building/renovation and landscape/outdoor specialties. N=2688.

The next Houzz Renovation Barometer release date is January 20, 2016.

*The greater the index value relative to 50, the greater the proportion of firms reporting increases in quarterly business activity than those reporting decreases.

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 small room to building a custom home and everything in between, 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 empowered by technology, 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, Calif., Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit