HIRI forecast sees growth in the mid-single digits
The Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI’s) September 2012 forecast for the size and trends in the home improvement market points to growth of 4.9% in 2012 and 4.0% in 2013.
Based on the macroeconomic factors that are known to drive the industry, home improvement sales should outpace GDP growth and bring the market size to $284.8 billion in 2013.
“Consumers are starting to get back closer to normal in their maintenance, repair and improvement of their homes,” says Fred Miller, Managing Director of HIRI. “Some of the newest data on housing should help maintain the positive momentum the industry started experiencing last year.”
The growth in purchases by contractors is expected to lag somewhat behind consumer purchases this year (3.9% vs. 5.3%). With improving housing turnover, the outlook for 2013 is the reverse with contractor sales expected to grow 4.4% vs. 3.9% for consumer sales.
As employment growth accelerates and housing markets improve in 2014, expectations are for stronger growth of home improvement sales averaging 5.9% in 2014-2015 with a slight deceleration in the following two years as the housing market cycle runs its course.
This new forecast has some revisions to history driven by new data released by the Census Bureau. Based on this new information, retail sales of Building Material Dealers had slower growth in 2010 and 2011. After incorporation of this new data, total home improvement product sales now show no growth in 2010 and a 3.1% increase in 2011 (down from growth rates of 2.3% and 3.8% previously estimated for these two years.)
These forecasts are developed twice a year for HIRI by IHS Global Insight. Included are a range of key macroeconomic factors that drive the market forecast. The full report includes details on consumer product sales by 21 merchandise product lines and individual forecasts for each of the 9 Census Divisions. History is included back to 1992 and estimates are provided out to 2017.
HIRI is offering a by invitation webinar to go over the latest forecast on September 12. Those who are qualified to join HIRI may apply for an invitation at http://www.hiri.org/event/Sept12. Jim Gillula of IHS Global Insight will be the featured speaker.
Drywall, plaster sales to rise worldwide
Global sales of drywall are expected to grow 8.6% annually through 2016, a massive improvement over the 2006-2011 pace, according to a report issued by The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm. Following severe decreases in sales during 2008-2001, drywall demand is expected to rebound sharply in North America and Western Europe. The East European market will also improve.
While advances in the Africa/Mideast region, Asia/Pacific region, and Central and South America are projected to decelerate slightly through 2016, each of these regions is still expected to record impressive growth, according to the forecasts contained in “World Drywall & Building Plaster.”
Nearly 70% of additional drywall demand generated between 2011 and 2016 will be attributable to China and the U.S., Freedonia forecasted. Sales of drywall and plaster products in the U.S. are projected to grow over 12% per year during this period. After declining sharply between 2006 and 2011, the amount of new residential floor space in the country is expected to increase at a double-digit pace. Rapid nonresidential building construction spending gains are also expected to stimulate growth in the U.S. market. In China, demand for drywall is forecast to grow nearly 12% per year through 2016.
Increasing demand for urban housing will drive residential building construction spending and related drywall sales between 2011 and 2016 in numerous industrializing countries, including India, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Thailand, and Turkey. Going forward, local construction firms will increase their use of modern building materials (such as drywall) at the expense of other products (such as building plaster).
The drywall market in Western Europe is forecast to expand 3.6% per year, a considerable improvement over the 2006-2011 pace. Spain is expected to register the fastest growth during this period, as new residential construction activity begins to recover, even though inflation-adjusted spending in 2016 will be well below the 2006 level. Among the other major markets that are expected to perform well are Italy, France, and the UK. Drywall demand in Western Europe will rise primarily because of increases in new residential construction from a depressed 2011 level.
It chops trees and mounts on ATVs
Vergennes, Vt.-based DR Power Equipment unveiled the DR TreeChopper, a new ATV-mounted tree-cutting tool designed to deal with the growing problem of invasive trees.
The DR TreeChopper is a professional solution to invasive trees that fits within a homeowner’s budget. Made of durable, professional-grade steel, the TreeChopper mounts securely to the front of most ATVs and cuts trees up to 4 ins. thick in seconds. Unlike skid-steer mounted tree shears, the TreeChopper requires no external power source or stopping and waiting for hydraulic jaws to open and close around the tree. The TreeChopper can cut hundreds of trees per hour.
Invasive trees are a major concern for farmers, ranchers and land management organizations across the country. It’s estimated that in the Midwest alone, more than 500,000 acres of pasture are lost to forest encroachment each year. And some tree species such as juniper and spruce often spread over natural firebreak areas (meadows, pastures) and can fuel dangerous wildfires.