Market Continues Positive Results
Cabinets & Countertops
Investment Heads Toward Cities
Philadelphia, PA Baby boomers dwelling in older suburban homes will continue to fuel demand for kitchen, bath and other remodeling projects, but an increasing amount of remodeling attention will be paid to the cities in the years to come, according to a top official of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Speaking at a recent remodeling industry trade show here, NAHB president-elect Robert Mitchell pointed to "a renewed emphasis on urban reinvestment and rehabilitation, as strong economic and housing growth has put heavy pressure on suburban areas, and prompted governmental efforts to control and redirect growth."
According to Mitchell, recent moves by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, are aimed at upgrading the existing housing stock in urban areas as a key component in revitalizing them. "Consequently, the remodeling industry will find lots of opportunities in older urban areas across the country, as efforts to direct some growth back toward central cities continue in the years ahead," Mitchell said.
Market Pulse/Year 2000 Forecast
The economic indicators continuing to define the health of the kitchen/bath and housing markets are all pointing in one direction, and it's a positive one. The good news is business is booming. The bad news (if you want to call it that) is business is booming. And the general consensus is that dealers everywhere no matter what region, economic level or clientele base are shifting into overdrive in order to keep pace with a climate that has bolted out of the starting gate.
The following dealers interviewed by Kitchen & Bath Design News share their thoughts about what they feel is the Year 2000 Forecast:
"The economy for 2000 is very strong, and consumer confidence is extremely high. Consumers are still looking for creative designs, and they're still willing to spend the dollars on high-end installations to get a unique look. In addition, the labor market is opening up which is good, for us because finding qualified people [to do the installations] is always a challenge.
"The other challenge is going to be to continue providing the
high level of customer service [we've been
providing], and to step up to the plate and team up with manufacturers and suppliers to provide timely product in order to pull out our projects with success. "
Lori Jo Krengel, CKD, CBD
Kitchens By Krengel, Inc.
Saint Paul, MN
"The year 2000 is only [a few weeks] old and we've
already written 25% of our business so it's off to an astounding
start. It started before the holidays the Monday after New Year's,
we had three designers on
the floor all day, and that's pretty much unheard of. I think the reason for this is that the economy still seems to be good.
"What also might be positively influencing business is that there was a 'futurist' from the University of Michigan, who recently projected a 25-year period of sustained economic growth for this area.
" The only major challenge will be finding enough qualified people to do the high-end installations, and they're very hard to come by the market is so tight on qualified people. But, the lack of clients is definitely not a problem, and they seem to be willing to spend the dollars."
Stephanie Witt, CKD, CBD,
Kitchens By Stephanie
Grand Rapids, MI
"The challenge [is always a matter of finding qualified people for sales and installations, and maintaining these people and the facility, so you get the best production. And regardless of the market [whether it's going up or down], the remodeling still goes on after the fact, so I expect this year and next will be very lively years.