The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) reported that the Q1 2021 Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI) has soared to a rating 79.8.
This is the highest score since the inception of the index. KBMI measures the current strength of the industry, expectations and challenges facing four major sectors — design, manufacturing, retail and building — with scores above 50 indicating expansion and scores below 50, contraction.
The current rating marks an increase of 14.8 points from last quarter alone and a 38.8 point improvement from this time last year.
Significantly, one in three designers noted that clients are now requesting higher-priced products and finishes. Retailers are experiencing that same customer shift.
The trend is likely owing to quick-fix, pandemic-driven DIY projects running their course and being replaced by serious makeovers to accommodate new lifestyles, the NKBA said.
“There is continued optimism in the industry with COVID-19 becoming less of an obstacle due to the rapid vaccine rollout,” said NKBA CEO Bill Darcy. “We are encouraged to see the index reach a historic high, and look forward to the continued industry growth as homeowners opt for larger, more upscale remodels.”
“As consumers experience more flexibility in their working arrangements, there’s an increased need for total reconfigurations for their spaces,” notes Todd Tomalak, Principal of JBREC. "And from an economic perspective, we've seen Americans utilizing their stimulus checks and savings from canceled vacations or other activations — which have been largely paused for the last year — for these home-improvement projects."