“We’re seeing an incomparable surge in homeowners looking to rearrange floor plans, tear out complete kitchens, baths and other rooms to make space for increased activity within the home, and generally create a space that better suits their evolving needs,” said NKBA CEO Bill Darcy. “Our industry’s greatest challenge will be operational, as our members aim to meet growing demand from homeowners with an unmatched appetite for remodeling.”
The latest trends identified by the NKBA include a shift back to larger projects, including expanding and rearranging floorplans or creating dedicated offices, to increase home functionality. According to the NKBA, this recalibration of priorities is contributing to anticipated business growth across sectors, as more complex jobs require a level of professional help not seen in 2020’s DIY boom.
Pandemic circumstances are actually driving demand to 60% of kitchen and bath companies, with members reporting that consumers are beginning the remodeling projects they planned while sheltering in place in 2020, the NKBA said.
Additionally, there is a higher demand for lower-priced products and finishes while homeowners also seek out wellness design, given the focus on physical and mental health spurred by the pandemic.
Each sector of the kitchen and bath market is impacted by current demand in different ways, though all report supply-chain disruptions as a significant, negative impact of COVID-19 on their business.
Retail sales are seeing strong growth across all price points but wood items, including cabinets, are under inflationary pressure due to the lumber market.
Regardless, retailers have the most positive outlook on the industry, ranking the KBMI highest of any group at 71.7, according to the report.
Demand continues to exceed supply for manufacturers, however, most notably in cabinetry and appliances.
Building and construction firms have reported cancellations and postponements are declining, with more than half (58%) reporting zero in Q4, compared to 49% in Q3. Builders are more likely to report supply-chain disruptions as significantly impacting their business (23%) compared to other sectors.
Half of designers said demand for future projects is higher than it was pre-COVID, while consumers’ finances have less of a negative impact as economic confidence has continued to improve over the last several quarters.