This week brought the Q4 2020 Houzz Renovation Barometer, and with it stats on market expectations, project backlogs and recent activities in the construction and design sectors. Here are some of the highlights:
1. Construction activity is strongest since Q3 2018
The Recent Business Activity Indicator related to project inquiries and new committed projects increased substantially to 75 in Q3 (compared to 49 in Q2).
Here’s how Houzz Senior Economist Marine Sargsyan described the results of the report: “The home remodeling and design industry is truly resilient, and is seeing business activity return to pre-pandemic levels. Home professionals have a positive outlook through the end of the year, despite unprecedented uncertainty due to the pandemic and the upcoming election, increasing supply chain constraints as well as shortages in the labor market. Pros are taking on new clients remotely using online tools and collaboration platforms, continuing the momentum from the recent quarter.”
2. Safety first
Sixty percent of construction businesses responded to pandemic-related business challenges by implementing new safety guidelines.
3. Projects are piling up
The Project Backlog Indicator for construction increased to 7.2 weeks in Q4 compared to Q3, which is two weeks longer than a year ago.
4. Payment innovation at work
More than one third (36%) of businesses in the architectural and design services sector and more than a quarter (26%)of businesses in the construction sector also adopted online invoicing and payments.
5. Slight speed bump in expected activity
The Expected Business Activity Indicator related to project inquiries and new committed projects in construction remained high, though it decreased slightly to 73 in the fourth quarter, down from 75 in the third quarter.
The Q4 2020 Barometer was fielded Sept. 24 – Oct. 7. It garnered responses from nearly 1,700 home improvement firms on Houzz.