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Houzz chronicles the emergence of the super kitchen

BY HBSDealer Staff

New research from Houzz suggests that the kitchen is evolving into something larger — a place that incorporates traditional living space features, or what Houzz calls the "super kitchen."

In this new reality, where the lines have been blurred between the kitchen and the rest of the home, kitchens serve a bigger function than places to cook and bake, according to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Survey.

Of those surveyed, 69% use the space for eating and dining, and nearly half for entertaining (49%) and socializing (43%).

Beyond that, 25% use kitchens to do homework, 19% watch TV, and 14% read.

Additionally, more homeowners have begun to physically blur the lines between the kitchen and the rest of the home. Nearly half, or 48%, said they're making their kitchens more open to other living spaces, with 46% of kitchens completely open to other interior spaces post-renovation. About 18% are more open to the outdoors.

Among these changes in layout, a good portion are U-shaped (35%), followed by L-shaped (28%).

“The modern ‘super kitchen’ supports family, friends and work and does it in style,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “Our findings show that homeowners expect kitchen renovations to go far beyond improving flow, storage or aesthetics. The ‘super kitchen’ has literally become a living room, family room and office, with finishes, layouts and decor that challenge us to define where the kitchen ends and the rest of the home begins.”

Conditions appear ripe for the remodeling industry, as more homeowners sought professional help in 2015 versus 2014 (87% compared to 80%, respectively).

The survey collected responses from 2,400 U.S. homeowners using Houzz who are in the midst of, are planning, or have recently completed a kitchen renovation project.

For the full survey, click here.

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Throwback Thursday: Carter Lumber’s shore thing

BY HBSDealer Staff

Almost 10 years to the day have passed since Home Channel News, the precursor of HBSDealer, published this story on Kent, Ohio-based Carter Lumber’s purchase of Griggs Lumber in Point Harbor, North Carolina.

The Jan. 23, 2006, page 7 headline of Home Channel News reads: “Carter Lumber hits the Outer Banks.”

Executives described the move as a partnership with a family-run business that was well respected in the local markets. “They have the knowledge and we want to keep that knowledge,” said Carter Lumber’s Neil Sackett, grandson of company founder W.E. Carter.

In the past 10 years, the massive wave of change that struck the LBM industry has had its impact on the Griggs deal. In April 2015, Carter announced that Griggs Lumber would become part of its Kempsville Building Materials company, with seven locations from Ashland, Virginia, to Buxton, North Carolina.

“By making this change, we firmly believe that the Carter Lumber Family of Companies has strengthened our ability to service the these markets,” said Jeff Donley, president and chief operating officer.

Today, Carter operates 142 locations in 12 states.

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Look for these markets to stay hot

BY HBSDealer Staff

Denver, Seattle, and Dallas-Fort Worth top the list of Zillow's markets to watch in 2016; with Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah, elbowing their way into this year’s top 10.

Topping the list is Denver, followed by Seattle and Dallas-Fort Worth, all of which are major tech towns and sitting pretty for job growth.

Zillow's Top 10 Housing Markets for 2016:

• Denver
• Seattle
• Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
• Richmond, Virginia
• Boise, Idaho
• Ogden, Utah
• Salt Lake City
• Omaha, Nebraska
• Sacramento, California
• Portland, Oregon

To determine which markets would be hot, Zillow looked at home value appreciation, low unemployment rates and strong income growth. Omaha has the lowest unemployment rate of the 10 hottest markets, at just 2.9%. Denver saw home values rise 16% in 2015, and Zillow is forecasting them to rise another 5% in 2016, along with Portland.

A strong and diverse economy is the driving force behind Richmond's high income growth, with government, finance, education, and manufacturing jobs robust in the area and expected to continue in 2016. Boise, Ogden, Salt Lake City and Sacramento all have high forecasted home value appreciation; homes are expected to appreciate an average of about 5% over the next year.

"Trendy tech centers like San Francisco, Seattle and Denver hogged the spotlight in 2015. But this year, the markets that shine brightest will be those that manage to strike a good balance between strong income growth, low unemployment and solid home value appreciation," said Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist. "As the job market continues to hum and opportunity becomes more widespread, the best housing markets are no longer limited to the coasts or one-industry tech towns. This year's hottest markets have something for everyone, whether they're looking for somewhere to raise a family or start their career."

Three variables influenced Zillow's hot market predictions: Zillow’s Home Value Forecast, which forecasts the change in the Zillow Home Value Index over the next 12 months; recent income growth; and current unemployment rates. Those three variables were then scaled and combined to form a 'hotness score,' producing the top 10 list.

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