Industry News: July 2015

As the year moves on, we get a clearer picture of the home remodeling landscape for 2015. Early on, signs were positive. Then, certain numbers began to decrease. Fortunately, more experts are starting to agree that 2015 is shaping out to be a very good year for contracting services.

If the recent stories below are any indication, it looks like our good fortune is not going away anytime soon.

If there are specific trends or news sources you want us to follow, please let us know in the comments section below or email me at jacob.hurwith@craftjack.com.

New-Home Sales Reach Seven-Year High
National Association of Home Builders

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 2.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000 units in May, according to newly released data from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. BOLD – This is the highest new-home sales rate since February 2008.

Fuller House: New Homes Are Growing In Size, Swank, And Price
Construction Dive

American homes are getting bigger. According to a U.S. Census report, more than 45% of the 620,000 new, single-family homes completed last year had four or more bedrooms and more than one-third had at least three bathrooms. To fit all of those amenities into the homes, builders expanded their square footage to a median of 2,453, up 10% from a decade ago.

Building Pros Opt For Online Shopping
Professional Builder

A recent report from The Farnsworth Group, an Indianapolis-based consultancy for clients in the building products supply chain, found that 76% of contractors purchased home improvement and/or construction products online during the last year. Additionally, 40% of those professionals are buying a product online at least once a month.

The top categories shopped by builders and home improvement professionals included: plumbing (43%), lighting and ceiling fan fixtures (40%), home-related products (35%) and tools and tool accessories (34%).

Surging Rent Drives First-Time Homebuyers In Northwest
Housing Wire

The Northwest posted a surge in first-time homebuyers thanks to rising rents and an influx of relocating workers, according to the latest report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Northwest MLS members reported 11,453 pending sales last month, the highest volume since August 2005.

The Northwest isn’t the only place reporting a rise in rental costs, with a recent Zillow (Z) report stating that rents outpaced home values in 20 of the 35 largest U.S. housing markets.

Home Design Gets A Post-Recession Reboot
Builder

The recession brought on tough times and while many companies were hurting in the home remodeling industry, others were adjusting their business and exploring new territories in design.

Builder found four such success stories. These companies not only weathered the storm and came out on top, but also grew stronger and larger as a result.

New Water Heater EF Requirements Now In Effect
Contractor Magazine 

New water heater EF requirements went into effect for products manufactured on or after April 16, 2015. These changes were the result of updates to the minimum efficiency requirements as authorized by NAECA.

This federal law requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to periodically update the efficiency standards for most household appliances. Water heater manufacturers are now building water heaters with higher EF ratings on virtually all residential and some light-duty commercial products.

Conclusion

New home sales increasing and houses getting larger should be music to your years. Fortunately, it looks like these trends will continue to hold well through the second half of 2015.

What are you reading to keep up with industry news? If we missed something, share the link in the comments section below.