Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUN 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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If Aussies Are Doing It, So Can We Patrick L. O'Toole Comes With the Territory Remodeling has always been best under- stood at the hyperlocal level. And at the end of the day, this new report showing slow- er growth in some places mixed with fast growth in others is good news. The headline is that the remodeling market is still grow- ing. But looking at these numbers helps us also understand the larger picture. We are 10 years into "growth mode" for the United States economy as a whole. It is the longest expansion in our history. Most places have erased the double-digit market price and activity losses of the Great Recession. Worries about the U.S. economy and remodeling are not entirely unfounded. Presently, there are ongoing trade dis- putes roiling certain sectors of the building products industry. (See our In Brief on page 8.) In addition, a growing number of economists peg the U.S. as due for a slight retrenchment in GDP in one or two quarters during 2020. These types of worries come with the territory we are in—an un- precedented period of expansion. Meanwhile, "down under" in Australia, the country is now in its 108th consecutive quarter of growth. That translates to 28 years without a recession. Reports such as the recent metro-level study from Harvard show the underlying strength of the remod- eling market. AƁer all, slower growth is still growth. We should, like Australians, ride this wave as far as it takes us. It could have a very long way to go. THE LATEST REPORT from Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies puts a focus on remodeling activity where it belongs—at the local level. As im- portant as national trends are for big-pic- ture comparisons with new construction or even commercial activity, local information is what works best for remodelers. The Harvard report, Metro Area Home Improvement Projections, suggests that in most places around the country, a combi- nation of high but declining house prices as well as slowing existing-home sales means remodeling growth at a slower pace than they have enjoyed in recent years. "Metros with cooling home prices and sales activity are not able to sustain the same pace of invest- ment in home im- provements as in re- cent years," explains Chris Herbert, man- aging director of the Harvard Joint Center. "Our projections show especially pronounced slowing in markets such as San Antonio, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Dallas." At the same time, there are metro ar- eas where house prices still have room to run. Permits are up, and so is sales activity. Most of those metros are in the South and West portions of the U.S.—places such as Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas; Sacramento and San Jose, California; Denver; Seattle; and Tucson, Arizona. These cities are "paced by projected growth of 8 percent or more," says the study's principal author, Elizabeth La Jeunesse, a senior research analyst. REMODELING HAS ALWAYS BEEN BEST UNDERSTOOD AT THE HYPERLOCAL LEVEL. EDITORIAL DIRECTOR'S NOTE 6 June 2019 QualifiedRemodeler.com A preferred publication of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the NAHB Remodelers Published by SOLA Group, Inc. 1880 Oak Ave., Suite 350 Evanston, IL 60201 847.4 40.3000 Publisher and Patrick L. O'Toole Editorial Director Patrick@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 103 Senior Editor Kyle Clapham Kyle@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 107 Managing Editor Kacey Larsen Kacey@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 105 Contributing Editor Chuck Ross Audience Development Mike Serino Mike@SOLAbrands.com Creative & Production Director Tracy Hegg Tracy@SOLAbrands.com Senior Graphic Designer Erika Nygaard Erika@SOLAbrands.com Editorial Advisory Board Stephen Gidley, GMB, CAPS, CGP, CGB, CGR, CPRC, CR Jeffrey Holloway, CKD, CBD, CGR Michael Nagel, CGR, CAPS Scott R. Sevon, CGR, CAPS, GMB, CGP, GMR Donna Shirey, CGR, CAPS, CGP Kenneth P. Skowronski, CR Publisher/ Paul DeGrandis West Sales Manager Paul@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 100 Midwest Sales Manager David Ayala David@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 119 Midwest Sales Manager Zach Stenberg Zach@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 115 Northeast Sales Manager Dan Miklosz DanM@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 118 Southeast Sales Manager Dan Agostinacchio Dan@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 101 National Automotive Sales Tom Lutzke TLutzke@ACBusinessMedia.com Product Showcase Mike Serino Mike@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 102 Digital Programs Manager Tim Steingraber Tim@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 106 Projects Manager Heidi Riedl Heidi@SOLAbrands.com Ext. 111 Subscriptions QR Circulation Dept. (866) 932-5904 QualifiedRemodeler@omeda.com

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