US home remodelling spending expected to rise - group

22 January 2013 23:09  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US remodelling spending in single-family homes is expected to increase by 2.4% in 2013 and another 1.7% in 2014, a builders trade group said on Tuesday.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is predicting slow, steady growth in remodelling activity, as reflected by increases in existing home sales and the organisation’s Remodelling Market Index (RMI).

The RMI reached 55 in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 5-point uptick from the previous quarter and the highest reading since the first quarter of 2004, the NAHB said.

“Many remodelers are reporting increases in calls for bids and appointments for proposals, so now it's a question of how quickly they can convert those calls and appointments into actual work,” said Paul Emrath, NAHB’s vice president for survey and housing policy research.

Panellists speaking at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas said there is increased demand from homeowners for kitchen and bath renovations and repairs.

In addition, consumers are remodelling basements, above-garage areas and attics as a way to add space to their homes without building full additions, said Bob Hanbury, a remodeler from Newington, Connecticut.

“Backlog was what we are all looking for, and that seems to be the current trend as people are moving forward with projects that they had been thinking about for some time," said Ben Morey, a remodeler from Signal Hill, California.

“While the full teardown and rebuild market has not taken off, homeowners are committing to projects that look for ways to create a new environment within the current floor plan of their home.”

The housing market is a key downstream consumer for the chemical industry, driving demand for a variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products such as plastic pipe, insulation, paints and coatings, adhesives, roofing materials and synthetic fibres.

Until a few months ago, more money was being spent on home improvement than on new single-family construction, said Ken Simonson, chief economist with the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

By: Tracy Dang
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