Houzz Inc., the leading platform for home remodeling and design, today released the Q2 2017 Houzz Renovation Barometer, which tracks confidence in the home renovation market among industry professionals. The Q2 2017 Barometer reflected high quarter-over-quarter confidence for all industry sectors including architects, designers, general contractors (GCs)/remodelers, design-build, specialty building/renovation and specialty landscape/outdoor, with readings of 63* or higher. Expectations for Q3 are strong across all sectors.
Consistent with this positive outlook, firms are in high demand, as indicated by the new Houzz Renovation Barometer Backlog Index, which shows the number of weeks before an average firm can start work on a new mid-sized home renovation or design project given its current project commitments. The index revealed an average backlog of four to seven weeks across industry sectors. GCs/remodelers and design-build companies have the longest average backlogs nationally at seven weeks, and increasing to eight weeks in the West. Architects and companies in building and outdoor specialties report average delays of five to six weeks, while designers show four week backlogs on average.
“The Barometer is pointing to strong market conditions for home renovation professionals, with business confidence at similar levels observed this time last year,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “Western firms stand out with an uptick in confidence year-over-year and backlogs of more than three months, in large part driven by strong job markets and significant home price appreciation over the past few years in urban centers."
Regional Backlog Variance
Backlogs vary significantly among the top 20 metro areas. In the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH metro, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA metro, Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA metro, and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA metro, GCs and design-build companies face backlogs of more than three months (13-14 weeks). In contrast, remodelers in Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI, Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI, and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX metro areas have the shortest delays and are able to start work on a new mid-sized project within a month (three to four weeks), on average.
Shift to Big-Ticket Projects
As the outlook across the renovation industry remains positive, home professionals continue to report a shift in their project mix towards larger-scale and higher-end projects, contributing to increased business activity. Half of GCs/remodelers and design-build companies report a year-over-year increase in kitchen and/or bathroom renovations in the first half of 2017 (49 percent**). Furthermore, a significant share of remodelers report an increase in homeowners tackling multiple projects at the same time (38 percent), purchasing high-end products (30 percent) and working on fixer-upper homes (27 percent). Demand for smart home technology also continues to increase, as reported by 34 percent of professionals, along with aging in place projects (33 percent) and energy-efficiency projects (28 percent).
Strong Year-Over-Year Confidence
The Renovation Barometer posted high year-over-year readings of 65-78 in Q2 of 2017, indicating strong optimism about continued year-over-year gains in the home renovation market. These scores are also in line with Q1 2017 scores (65-77).
The full Q2 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.
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=2,408.
*The greater the index value relative to 50, the greater the proportion of firms reporting increases in quarterly business activity than those reporting decreases.
**Figures in this paragraph reflect the proportion of firms reporting increases minus proportion of firms reporting decreases in the project types so far this year (2017) relative to the same period last year (2016).
The next Houzz Renovation Barometer release date is October 16, 2017.
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, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.