Market Continues ’02 Growth Path

by WOHe

Market Continues ’02 Growth

The housing industry and the related kitchen/bath market are
continuing to defy the odds in 2002, significantly outperforming
the overall U.S. economy while spurring economic growth, according
to the latest indicators, which reveal strength in home sales and
shipments of major products. Among the key statistics released by
government agencies and industry-related trade associations in
recent weeks were the following:

U.S. residential remodeling expenditures are expected to reach a
record 164.9 billion in 2002, and are being forecast to rise an
average of 3.4% annually through 2011, according to the latest
forecast issued by the National Association of Home Builders. The
Washington, DC-based NAHB projected in August that expenditures for
improvements and maintenance on owner-occupied and rented U.S.
homes would reach $170.2 billion next year, and nearly $220 billion
by 2011. Most of the money to be spent by homeowners will be for
improvements, which includes additions and alterations encompassing
kitchen and bath remodeling and replacements, the NAHB noted (see
graphs, above right).

Sales of existing single-family homes sold in 2002, which
demonstrated a rare dip in June, are now “at more sustainable
levels,” and are still expected to post an annual record this year,
the National Association of Realtors said last month. The
Washington, DC-based NAR said that the June decline in resales was
“expected,” coming off record levels of existing-home sales in the
first half of 2002. However, “continued favorable mortgage rates
and an expanding economy will keep the housing sector from
faltering,” said NAR senior forecast economist Lawrence Yun.

Domestic shipments of major home appliances fell slightly in
August, declining 3.2% over August
of 2001, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers said last
month. The Washington, DC-based AHAM reported that 4.9 million
appliances were shipped in August, down from the 5 million units
shipped in the same month a year earlier. Year-to-date domestic
shipments of home appliances from January through August were
running 7.1% over shipments from the same eight-month period in
2001, AHAM said.

Sales of kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities increased 10.8%
over July 2001, the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association said
last month. The Reston, VA-based KCMA noted that the association’s
monthly “Trend of Business” survey reported that stock cabinet
sales were up 5.8% in July, while semi-custom sales rose 35.4%.
Custom cabinet sales posted a 9.8% decline, the KCMA said.
Year-to-date sales from January through July were up 11.4% over the
same period a year earlier, the KCMA added.

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