Professionals Project Second Quarter Optimism, According to Houzz Renovation Barometer

by Kacey Larsen

The Houzz Renovation Barometer for Quarter 1 of 2015 posted high readings across all industry groups, reflecting significantly more professionals reporting quarter-over-quarter increases than decreases in Q1 2015 business activities. Professional confidence is higher in Q1 2015 than Q4 2014 for all industry groups with significant gains for landscape/outdoor specialties (26 percent); architects, general contractors and design-build firms (11-15 percent); and designers and building/renovation specialties projecting moderate gains (3-6 percent). All industry groups are continuing to report widespread year-over-year improvements in the home renovation market in Q1 2015.

Other highlights from the Houzz Renovation Barometer include:

  • Professionals are projecting strong optimism for the next three months based on quarter-over-quarter performance.
  • A seasonal uptick in demand equates to Q1 Barometer scores reflecting significant gains for architects, general contractors and design-build firms as well as landscape/outdoor specialties.
  • All industry group projected strong confidence in the strengthening of key business activity indicators in the first quarter of 2015, as reflected in the high Barometer readings for new inquiries, number of new projects and new project size.
  • Gains are expected to continue into the next quarter for all activity indicators, with general contractors and outdoor specialties most bullish.
  • Home renovation sentiment is strong across all regions in the first three months of 2015, with more firms reporting quarter-over-quarter increases than decreases in business activity.
  • Northeast winter conditions affected business performance in Q1 2015, particularly for building and renovation specialty firms, while the West fared quite well, even for specialties.
  • Sentiments are flying high for the upcoming months across all industry groups, with outdoor specialties most optimistic about year-over-year improvements in Q2 2015.
  • In contrast to the comparable year-over-year improvements in the number of inquiries and new projects in Q1 2015 (vs. Q4 2014), all industry groups are projecting slightly weaker confidence for the size of the new projects/orders.
  • Despite winter records, Northeast professionals are continuing to report widespread increases in business activity in the first quarter of 2015 relative to the same period last year.
  • The Northeast’s optimism for year-over-year improvements in the second quarter of 2015 is in the range of other regions, although Southern specialty industries stand out in their exceptionally strong optimism in second-quarter improvements.

The Houzz Renovation Barometer tracks quarterly fluctuations in business activity related to renovation of owner-occupied existing homes. More information on the Q1 2015 report can be found here

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