Survey Shows Shifts in Remodeling Projects

November 17, 2010

New home improvement data and nationwide survey results released by ServiceMagic show that in the third quarter of 2010, demand for additions and remodeling projects decreased, while demand for necessary high-cost maintenance and repair services saw gains.
The data was collected from ServiceMagic’s Q3 2010 Home Remodeling and Repair Index, which was compiled from 1.5 million service requests received by the company from August to October, as well as an additional survey of homeowners and service professionals.
After a strong start in the first quarter, demand for additions and remodeling has started to slow and is down by 18 percent nationally. Demand for kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling has fallen by 6 percent and 33 percent, respectively, in the third quarter. These jobs had seen an increase earlier in the year with kitchen remodel service requests up 191 percent and those for bathroom remodels up 30 percent in the first quarter.
“The past couple quarters we reported strong indications from homeowners about their pent-up demand for remodeling their homes, particularly for kitchen and bath remodeling,” said Craig Smith, ServiceMagic’s CEO. “It appears that this pent-up demand front-loaded the work into the first half of the year.”

According to the consumer sentiment survey, 46 percent of consumers have waited a year or longer to invest in necessary high-cost maintenance and repair services. Sixty-two percent of homeowners surveyed said they invested in these high-cost home improvement projects because the repairs needed to be done to avoid further upkeep. Nationally, there was an increase in several high-cost maintenance and repair services including heating and furnace systems, window installations, septic tanks and wells, and roofing.

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