Back to Blog

Market Trends Point to Big Opportunities for Contractors

According to the latest market research, homeowners are making more investments in their homes. In fact, 65 percent of homeowners plan to make at least one home improvement in the next year – offering contractors and remodelers big opportunities for business.

See the latest housing market research and what trends point to the biggest opportunities:

Kitchen and Exterior Projects on the Up

At first glance of the latest Zillow report, the next 12 months may seem less promising for home improvement. Compared to improvements made in the past year, homeowners plan to take on fewer projects in the upcoming year across nearly every category.

enter image description here

Chart via Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018

While the numbers may seem bleak initially, contractors could actually see a boost from the trends projected in the report. The few home improvement categories that are projected to grow in the next 12 months are heavily outsourced projects – meaning contractors may have more work in the pipeline.

For example, kitchen improvements are projected to increase 2 percent from last year. While this difference may seem small, the increase is amplified when paired with the amount spent on these projects. According to the 2018 Houzz report, the median amount spent on kitchen remodels increased 10 percent in 2017 and is projected to continue rising.

Exterior projects also offer contractors opportunities in the upcoming year. The Zillow report points to a 4 percent increase in exterior home painting in the next 12 months. In addition to a fresh coat of paint, Houzz reports that homeowners also want to boost curb appeal with new entryways and porches. Specifically, 21 percent of homeowners plan to improve their exterior doors and 12 percent want to add a porch or balcony.

While homeowners can easily spruce up their entryways with Fypon door surround kits, building a porch using a balustrade system may require the help of a professional – which is an increasing trend amongst homeowners.

Homeowners Increasingly Bringing in the Pros

Year over year, homeowners are increasingly turning to professionals to tackle their home improvement projects. In fact, Houzz reported that 88 percent of renovations are now done with the help of professionals, with specialist hiring up 7 percent.

For homeowners, finding time is the leading challenge to completing their home improvement projects. However, homeowners are also facing the dilemma many in the industry are dealing with: finding professionals to do the work.

As work increases, contractors are finding themselves stretched thin. The 2018 HomeAdvisor Farnsworth Index reported that 53 percent of industry professionals have cited difficulty hiring skilled labor in the past year alone. Building professionals short on labor may miss out on the opportunities in current market trends if they do not have the workforce to meet homeowners’ needs.

To combat the labor shortage, industry professionals are turning to new and creative solutions. Check out our recap from the Women in Residential Construction conference to learn how these professionals are expanding their workforce and tapping into market opportunities.