AMD Members Urged to ‘Survive to Thrive’

October 26, 2011
Meetings & Events

Nashville, Tenn.—“Don’t worry about those forecasts that say we may get a double-dip recession,” said McCoy Building Supply’s John N. Meeks, speaking to Association of Millwork Distributors members on Monday. “Those of us in building products aren’t out of the first dip yet.”

 McCoy Building Products' John Meeks

With a background in money management and mergers and acquisitions, and now senior vice president of corporate development for McCoy’s, a Texas-based lumber and building supply chain with its own prehanging operations, Meeks offered a sober outlook, predicting that growth in housing is going to be slow moving. Reviewing the current economic situation, he noted that this recent downturn has been worse than the Depression for housing, producing bigger drops in home values and home sales. A continued shadow inventory of homes still likely to go through the foreclosure process will continue to weigh down new home construction for the next several years, he noted.

Meeks capped a full day of educational sessions that kicked off AMD’s 47th annual convention and exhibition, congratulating attendees as “survivors,” noting that everyone in the room had to have worked very hard and make tough decisions over the past few years to still be at the event. He urged continued caution going forward, but said there were some positive signs finally appearing in the market.

First, he noted, investors are starting to pick up some of the foreclosed homes in the market. That will help deplete the inventory, necessary before demand for new homes can grow again. It may also spur demand in the remodeling market now, he noted, as investors are likely to have to work on many of these homes to attract tenants.

The remodeling market in general is outperforming new home construction, he said, and that is likely to continue, offering opportunities for those in the building supply industry. The multifamily market is also showing signs of life, Meeks suggested. Rental demand is growing with population growth, as well as an influx of former homeowners who have returned to renting.

Also on the agenda in Nashville was Paul Winans of Remodelers’ Advantage, who offered his thoughts on the remodeling market and how millwork distributors could target that segment. AMD’s own Jessica Ferris provided attendees an update on code and regulatory activities. She reviewed AMD’s progress in developing its SHEDS side-hinged door standard, as well as recent activities at the National Fenestration Rating Council and Energy Star. Other speakers address social media and health care reform.

In addition to the educational program, AMD's annual convention also features a trade show, which concludes today.  Next year, AMD moves to Louisville, Ky., for its annual convention and trade show, set for October 8-12.