Regarding the new construction and remodeling/replacement markets, I predict that in 2008...

John G. Swanson
January 2, 2008

The Talk, Page 2...

Survey Results for 01/02/2008:

Regarding the new construction and remodeling/replacement markets, I predict that in 2008...

...RR will grow, but NC will decline.





...both markets will be flat at best.





...both NC and RR will decline.





...we'll see growth in both NC and RR.





...NC will recover, and RR will decline.





In last week’s Talk, I shared my expectations for the window and door market in 2008. I noted reports I’ve heard of a pick-up in the remodeling and replacement side of the business and continued pessimism for new construction sales.

Based on our poll results, it seems many of you share my views—about 40 percent of respondents, in fact. About 30 percent say both sides of the business will be flat, while 17 percent foresee further declines across the board. The optimist in me was hoping more of you would say there will be gains in both new construction and remodeling/replacement sales than the 13 percent who did, but let’s all hope this minority is correct.

It may be a stretch to call it optimism, but David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, sees the new construction market “bottoming out” soon. In NAHB’s year-end conference call, Seiders said new home sales are likely to hit their low in the first quarter of 2008. Single-family starts will bottom out in the second quarter of 2008. That’s down 55 percent from the peak of the housing boom, the economist noted, adding that’s “one heck of a contraction.”

Overall, he’s predicting 2008 will be another down year for new housing, but he does see gradual improvement beginning later in the year. That’s earlier than some economists predict.

Enough with economic forecasts—I thought I would offer a word of congratulations to our readers for their political forecasting abilities. I realize by the time you see this, people will already be talking about New Hampshire’s results, but I think it’s noteworthy that our WDweekly presidential polls at the end of last year predicted the winners of the Iowa caucuses—former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Huckabee, I’m sure, would love to hear about the results from our final poll.

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