Business confidence among companies in the home renovation sector – architects and designers, general contractors and remodelers, as well as landscapers – remained high during the second quarter of this year, according to the Houzz Renovation Barometer, with no sign that the generally positive outlook will diminish significantly in the current quarter.
The Houzz survey looked at a number of questions about home renovation projects, including who’s doing them and how much those clients are spending. For landscapers as well as all other respondents, the year-over-year increase in projects came mostly from Gen Xers, or clients between 35 and 54 years old.
That age group accounted for 58 percent more landscaping work in the second quarter of this year vs. the same quarter in 2015. The youngest age group, Millennials (under age 35), accounted for 23 percent more landscaping work in this year’s second quarter, while landscaping projects for Baby Boomers were up 48 percent year over year, according to the Houzz research.
The Houzz Renovation Barometer also asked how many customers were opting for high-end work and whether clients were choosing to do multiple projects at one time. Although the response on these measures was fairly strong among design-build companies, designers and remodelers, it was highest for landscape contractors, with nearly half indicating more high-end projects and clients taking on multiple jobs at one time.
The Houzz survey also pointed to continued optimism from all industry sectors when looking at the second quarter of 2016 compared with the same time last year. “However, the Q2 2016 scores for architects, designers, and design-build companies are 5-7% lower than Q1 2016 scores,” the report says.
The highest numbers on this measure came from landscapers, although second-quarter responses for the landscaping industry are routinely the highest of the year and normally decline as much as 20 points in the third quarter of each year, as the growing season ends and fall arrives.
Nino Sitchinava, principal economist for Houzz, said the slight dampening of scores among the architects and other designers was expected and raises no red flags.
“It really just follows common sense,” she said, as design comes very early in the process of renovation. The barometer numbers for designers peaked early in 2015, and now it’s remodeling contractors and landscapers who are hitting the high-confidence numbers.
She stressed that even with the slight decline in designers’ numbers, all industry groups in the barometer continue to register in positive territory overall.
Gains on the landscaping side continue to be strong, she noted, and “quite widespread.”