CHARLOTTE, NC — SEN Design Group, the Charlotte, NC-based kitchen and bath industry buying group and business education resource, has revamped its membership structure to increase access to business education opportunities for industry professionals, the organization announced.
“Under our previous structure, the majority of our educational opportunities were add-on expenses for our members, but we wanted to make sure our members had access to as much educational content as they wanted without added expense, so we have updated our membership structure to provide this much-needed resource at a minimal monthly investment,” said Catherine Daugherty, director of membership at SEN Design Group.
SEN Design Group will now offer three tiers of membership with differing benefits based on the member’s specific needs:
n Associate Membership includes basic access to industry-specific business and sales education opportunities; this level is targeted for industry firms and independent designers who may not want to participate in a buying group or attend semi-annual conferences.
n Signature U Membership includes increased access to industry-specific business and sales education opportunities, as well as access to SEN Design Group’s purchasing power and networking community.
n Executive U Membership ($399 per month) includes everything in the Signature U Membership with additional benefits for industry leaders, such as dealer roundtables, a business development manual, personal profiling assessments for better hiring and communication, maximum quarterly rebates, and more.
Additional details are available at www.sendesigngroup.com.
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CAMBRIDGE, MA — “Strong growth” in home improvement and maintenance expenditures is expected to continue over the coming year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA), released last month by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.
The LIRA projects year-over-year gains in annual improvement and repair spending will reach 9% in the fourth quarter of this year and maintain that pace into 2022. Annual improvement and repair expenditures by homeowners could reach $400 billion by the third quarter of 2022, according to the Joint Center, which warned that “several headwinds” – including the rising costs of labor and building materials, as well as increasing interest rates – “could still taper expected growth.”
“Residential remodeling continues to benefit from a strong housing market with elevated home construction and sales activity and immense house price appreciation in markets across the country,” said Carlos Martín, project director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Cambridge, MA-based Joint Center. “The rapid expansion of owners’ equity is likely to fuel demand for more and larger remodeling projects into next year.”
In related remodeling market news:
n The U.S. building products market will continue building on its “exponential growth” of the past two years, gaining an additional 2.9% from 2023 through 2025, with the professional sector increasing by 4.6%, according to a newly released forecast by the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI). The Indianapolis-based HIRI predicted that the total U.S. building products market will increase by 13% in 2021 over the previous year, with the professional sector growing by 18.2%. The total building products market is forecast to grow an additional 2.3% in 2022, with the professional sector growing by 7.1%, HIRI added.
n Businesses in the residential construction and remodeling sectors anticipate “strong activity” through the balance of 2021, although many companies report steady increases in backlogs since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with wait times of nearly three months before new projects can begin, according to the Q4 2021 Houzz Renovation Barometer, a quarterly gauge that tracks market expectations, project backlogs and recent activity among U.S businesses in the construction and architectural/design services sectors. Results of the survey were released last month by Houzz Inc., the Palo Alto, CA-based online platform for home remodeling and design.
“Confidence prevails across the industry through year-end,” said Marine Sargsyan, Houzz senior economist. “We’ve seen some settling of home renovation and design activity following record high performance earlier in the year, yet many businesses are struggling to catch up with heightened demand as they navigate supply chain challenges and labor availability, leading to record-long backlogs.”
n Demand for remodeling remains strong, and remodelers “are doing quite well as long as they can adequately deal with material and labor shortages,” according to the latest Remodeling Market Index (RMI) compiled by the National Association of Home Builders. The NAHB last month released its NAHB/Royal Building Products Remodeling Market Index (RMI) for the third quarter of 2020, posting a reading of 87, up five points from the third quarter of 2020. The finding “is a signal of residential remodelers’ confidence in their markets, for projects of all sizes,” the NAHB said.
“We are seeing strong demand and continued optimism in the residential remodeling market, despite the fact that supply constraints are severe and widespread,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.
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WASHINGTON, DC — Single-family home sizes are reportedly rising as an offshoot of the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing a recent trend toward downsizing, as homeowners are seeking additional residential space for a wider range of purposes, particularly teleworking and school-related activities.
At the same time, trade association officials are reporting a continued shift in new residential construction away from urban areas to lower-density, lower-cost suburban markets.
According to the latest analysis by the National Association of Home Builders, the median size of a newly built single-family home increased to 2,297 sq. ft., while the average size for new single-family homes increased to 2,540 sq. ft.
Since Great Recession lows, home sizes rose between 2009 to 2015 as entry-level new construction was constrained, according to the NAHB. In contrast, home sizes declined between 2016 and 2020, as more starter homes were developed, the NAHB said.
“Going forward, we expect home size to increase again, given a shift in consumer preferences for more space due to the increased use and roles of homes in the post-COVID-19 environment,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist for the Washington, DC-based NAHB.
The NAHB also reported that residential construction continued its yearlong shift toward the suburbs and lower-cost markets, a trend that’s especially pronounced within the multifamily sector.
According to the association’s latest Home Building Geography Index (HBGI), multifamily residential construction posted a 14.3% gain in small metro core and suburban areas during the second quarter of 2021, while large metro areas experienced a 0.5% decline for multifamily building activity.
“The trend of construction shifting from high-density metro areas to more affordable regions, which accelerated at the beginning of the pandemic, appears to be continuing,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke.
“There’s a marked increase in new apartment construction outside large metro areas, as people have greater flexibility to live and work in more affordable markets,” added Robert Dietz, chief economist for the NAHB.
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