Compared to last year, how will replacement and remodeling market sales fare in 2008?

March 19, 2008
THE TALK...

The Talk, Page 2...

Survey Results for 03/19/2008:

Compared to last year, how will replacement and remodeling market sales fare in 2008?

About the same

33%

 

Much worse

28%

 

Slightly worse

17%

 

Slightly better

16%

 

Much better

5%

 

John Swanson,
editor/
associate publisher
of Window & Door

Unfortunately, I’m getting used to hearing rather glum forecasts for the new housing market. But I still haven’t gotten used to that much negativity on the remodeling and replacement side of the business. Sure, I know this segment of our industry doesn’t grow every year, but when I’ve talked to manufacturers and dealers, they’re usually pretty positive about remodeling and replacement sales.

With the spring selling season upon us, I wanted to see if that optimism was still there. We’ve been hit by enough bad news, so I was hoping for a little of “positivity,” quite honestly, when I asked last week’s poll question. Only about one in five of you offered that optimism, however, with predictions of a 2008 upswing for replacement and remodeling.

About a third suggest this business will be about the same as it was in 2007; given talk of recession, diminished consumer confidence and lack of credit, perhaps that’s not so bad.

I can’t say I blame those of you out there who are less optimistic for the rest of this year, but to get in better spirits, let’s look to the long term. Last week, we reported that home improvement spending may be off again for 2008, but it will rebound in 2009 and see several years of steady growth. We still have a housing stock that’s getting older and bigger, and that should continue to drive the trend. And personally, if overall spending on home improvement is predicted to increase about 5 percent a year for the next four or five years, the news should be even better for the window and door segment.

Even if overall dollars spent on home improvement were flat, it would be hard to imagine windows and doors not getting a bigger share of that spending. With gas nearly $4 a gallon, and other energy costs increasing at a similar rate, it’s only logical to assume that replacement windows and doors would become a higher priority for many homeowners.

Given statements from all three presidential candidates that America needs to address the issues of energy dependence and climate change, we are also likely to see tax incentives or other programs that encourage energy efficient upgrades like replacement windows.

Speaking of tax incentives, I got an official notice from the IRS today regarding “Economic Stimulus Payment.” Maybe we’ll see a few people use that money toward new windows this year?


E-mail John Swanson at jswanson@glass.org.

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