Experts are noting that the home improvement industry is finally improving economically, following the success of the housing industry. Normally, home improvement is one of the first industries to recover following a recession, but this time, it has been lagging due to depressed housing prices. Now home improvement is on the rise again, with companies like Home Depot, Mohawk Industries, and Lowes seeing steady sales.
One reason that home improvement is recovering is the new availability of homes. During the recession, many houses were used as rental properties. Now that the housing market has stabilized, homes that were being used as rentals are on the market for sale as primary residences. During their years as rentals, the homes may have gotten a little battered, and need some fixing up to be habitable again.
The most popular remodeling projects are updating bathrooms and kitchens, which account for 69% of all remodeling projects, according to the 2012 Remodeling Market Index.
“All the things are in place for the industry to do better. We have people working more. We have low interest rates. We have housing prices going up. We have more activity going on in business, so we’re really optimistic about the future this year,” Mohawk Industries CEO Jeffrey Lorberbaum explained to CNBC. With more new homes being built, Mohawk is finally being called upon to add flooring to buildings that were constructed earlier in the year.
“We’re the last thing that goes into the home before it is finished — usually about a month before it is finished,” Lorberbam told TimesFreePress.com. “We’re putting in products now for homes that were started six to nine months ago.”
As the economy continues to improve and consumers earn more expendable income, the home improvement industry will continue to grow. Updated homes will sell for higher prices, driving the housing market further into prosperity.