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Home Renovation Pros Remain Confident Though Outdoor Specialists Are Less So
Landscape Firms' Market Confidence Measures 21 Percent Less this Quarter than Last

Firms in the outdoor sector report moderate-to-severe shortages of landscape contractors (18%), architects (11%) and designers (8%)., the online platform for home remodeling and design, recently released their Q3 2015 Renovation Barometer, which tracks confidence in the home renovation market among industry professionals. The new report revealed that optimism in quarter-over-quarter market improvements remains high in the industry as a whole but landscape specialty firms reported a decrease this quarter over last of 21 percent in the index that measures market confidence.

Hiring remains a top challenge for renovation professionals across industry sectors in the third quarter with general contractors, remodelers and design-build firms that were surveyed reporting moderate-to-severe labor shortages across a wide range of specialized trades.

"Barometer readings consistently show year-over-year gains in the past three quarters of 2015, pointing to healthy improvements in the remodeling industry in 2015 over 2014," said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. "The headwinds slowing overall industry performance are widespread labor shortages, particularly in the Midwest."

These shortages are reported to be least severe in the Northeast. Eighteen percent of all firms in the outdoor sector said that there were not enough landscape contractors to meet their needs. Eleven percent cited a shortage of landscape architects and eight percent referred to a shortage of landscape designers.

Other findings include growth across the number of new business inquiries, and the number and size of new projects. However readings are down slightly from the second quarter across all three leading new business indicators, likely due to the start of a seasonal slowdown, as well as the backlog of projects from the spring months, among other factors according to Houzz.

The online platform also reported that while outdoor specialty firms are feeling the seasonal slowdown earlier than other industry groups, Northeastern and Midwestern outdoor firms are hit the hardest, as reflected by the 36 percent and 30 percent quarter-over-quarter decreases in scores for the third quarter, respectively. Meanwhile, outdoor firms in the South and West saw significantly lower decreases (21 percent and 10 percent respectively).

The Houzz Renovation Barometer study is conducted quarterly and presents analysis of responses to an online survey sent out to a national U.S. panel of architects, interior designers, general contractors/remodelers, design-build firms, and building/renovation and landscape/outdoor specialties.

The full Houzz Renovation Barometer Q3 2015 report can be found here. The next Houzz Renovation Barometer release date is January 20, 2016.

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November 20, 2019, 1:55 pm PDT

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