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April 13, 2017
Remodeler Confidence Remains High Despite Continued Labor Shortages, Houzz Barometer Finds
Gains cut across all industry sectors, reversing three-quarter downward trend for architects


Houzz Inc, the leading platform for home remodeling and design, today released the Q1 2017 Houzz Renovation Barometer, which tracks confidence in the home renovation market among industry professionals. The Q1 2017 Barometer reflected widespread quarter-over-quarter confidence for all industry sectors including architects, designers, general contractors/remodelers, design-build firms, building/renovation specialty firms and outdoor specialty firms, with readings of 66* or higher (66-76 out of 100).

Architects have reversed a three-quarter downward trend in confidence with scores returning to Q1 2016 levels. In contrast, building and outdoor specialty firms’ confidence dipped slightly relative to Q1 2016, especially in the Northeast, likely due to mid-March winter storm activity. Despite this, outlook for Q2 is positive across industry sectors.

While confidence remains high, labor shortages continue to hinder industry growth, as reported by 75 percent of general contractors, remodelers and design-build firms. Shortages remain highest in the Midwest (85 percent), but have eased slightly in the South (73 percent in Q1 2017 versus 81 percent in Q3 2016). Finish carpenters and general laborers remain in shortest supply (41 percent and 36 percent, respectively). To attract young workers, firms are stepping up efforts to spread awareness of job opportunities in the industry. This includes leveraging social media (24 percent), giving talks at local high schools and/or colleges (seven and six percent, respectively), and organizing company-wide recruiting events (six percent). Many are also offering on-the-job training (41 percent).

“While confidence remains high across industry groups, the high expectations for 2017 reported at the start of the year have been put a bit on hold due to weather conditions,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “Winter storms in the Northeast and rains in the West prevented many outdoor and exterior project inquiries converting into jobs in Q1, somewhat affecting professional confidence among specialty firms. Yet, expectations for Q2 are strong, and renewed confidence among architects signals larger scale projects on the horizon.”

Size and number of new projects continues to grow
Firms continued to report quarter-over-quarter increase in the number of inquiries and the number and size of new projects in Q1 2017, as reflected by Barometer readings exceeding 50 across all industry groups (69-80, 67-77, and 58-71, respectively). This reading was particularly strong for architects, whose scores for new inquiries and number of new projects jumped 32 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Year-over-year confidence remains high
The Barometer posted high year-over-year readings of 65-77 in Q1 2017, exceeding scores for Q4 2016. Design-build firms and remodelers continue to project high confidence in year-over year market gains (77 and 76, respectively), while architects show a renewed confidence in the market (65, up from 61 last quarter).

The full Q1 2017 Houzz Renovation Barometer can be found here.

There are more than 1.5 million active home remodeling and design professionals on Houzz, including architects, interior designers, general contractors and design-build firms, among others.

Notes to Editors
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. The greater the index value relative to 50, the greater the proportion of firms reporting increases in quarterly business activity than those reporting decreases. N=2,919.

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

The next Houzz Renovation Barometer release date is July 17, 2017.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation 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, find 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 houzz.com.