Will We See the Release of Pent-Up Demand?

Christina Lewellen
March 14, 2012
THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

Maybe it’s the mild weather or the impact of daylight savings on our evening hours, but I’m feeling a swell of optimism and momentum in terms of the economic recovery. After years and years of negative headlines, the media is finally finding more positive things to say about the economy.

In fact, a recent blog posted to U.S. News & World Report shares that the home improvement industry is faring well this spring season, pointing out that homeowners are finally feeling confident enough to tackle the big projects they’ve been putting off for years. Rather than swapping out fixtures themselves or sprucing up the house with a coat of paint, an increasing number of consumers are investing big dollars into the upkeep of their homes.

Given that big home improvement projects have been off the agenda for many homeowners for years, wouldn’t it stand to reason that there’s a lot of pent-up demand? That’s what Mike Hydeck, president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and a Pennsylvania-based remodeling professional, says in his blog.  "People have been putting off doing things to their house and are ready to bust loose so to speak."

Now I’m not asking if you’re seeing it yet, but I would like to know if you believe there’s a significant amount of pent-up demand when it comes to hefty home improvement projects—including window and door replacements and additions that require additional fenestration products. Will homeowners spend the next couple of years catching up on the projects they didn’t do during the Great Recession? Will maintenance issues ignored for the last few years drive demand in our market segment? Send me an email or post a comment to share your thoughts.

 

 

Survey Results as of 03/20/2012:

 

Do you think we'll see the release of pent-up demand in the home improvement sector?

 

I don't think there's that much pent-up demand in the market.

  

 

47%

The demand's there, but I don't think we'll see it until 2013 or beyond.

  

 

39%

Yes, I think we'll start to see this year.

  

 

14%

 

Nearly half our poll respondents don't see a lot of pent-up demand in the home improvement sector.  More than half do, but only a small percentage see it coming this year.  More think we'll have to wait. So we're split in this week's poll--not everyone shares my enthusiasm for the spring market.

That's fine. I certainly understand why we, as an industry, are a little gun shy. We've had a rough couple of years and it's tough to get excited about future prospects when business has yet to start truly booming. Still, I think we should be open to the glimmer of hopes in the economy and in the home improvement marketplace. By the time the media gets around to spreading the good news, the economic recovery is generally well underway. And slowly but surely, the headlines are getting more positive. Perhaps we'll start seeing this confidence reflected in our sales sooner rather than later.

 

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at clewellen@glass.org.

Comments

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Clearly, we are seeing more blueprints for new residential construction and additions. However, the money is in the hands of the few.

The overall economy has grown to some degree and fewer people are unemployed but the recovery has come from major restructuring that left many businesses holding the bag of unpaid invoices and the workers coming off unemployment as well as exiting employees are making substantially less income.

Our standard of living has been lowered by the bank debacles. It will take years to balance out. The Gov is hard at work generating new jobs by adding new regulations that adds more workers which, in a nut shell, is a false economy and the window and door industry is suffering from that along with the depressed economy.

Yes there is a pent up demand, but uncertainty in the future is holding it back. The banks need to get fixed before we see any real movement in our industry. The oversight on that situation was pittiful and simply unexcusable.