The home improvement market is one that posts trends that are not only important for the external observer but the homeowner as well. According to a report released in March 2015, the sale of home improvement products increased by 4 percent in 2014, bringing the figure to a staggering $303 billion. This is a clear indication that more people are taking part in home improvement projects, and this is expected to continue in the coming months and years. The Professional Market reported an increase of 3.4 percent in 2014 while the Consumer Market saw an increase of 4.3%.
As far as home improvement projects go, the decision to improve a home or not is highly dependent on the prevailing economic climate. Currently, there are two profound changes affecting the US economy and these are lower oil prices and a rising dollar. A rising dollar means certain things for the economy. For instance, a rising dollar subtracts from the GDP as exports suffer and strong consumer spending increases the influx of imports. The result of this is a widening trade deficit. Lower oil prices have positive effects, and one of these is contributing to real GDP growth.
For the year 2014, sale of home improvement products through the major home centers posted strong fourth quarter results. The full year results were solid as well, and grew by 5 percent. It is expected that in 2015, the sale of home improvement products will be on an upward trajectory. There are several reasons for this. To start with, there has been a strong employment growth which means that more people now have access to income which makes it possible to purchase home improvement projects. The pick-up in wage growth and the consumer dividend from lower gas prices are also factors that will positively influence the consumer’s ability to engage in home improvement projects.
It is projected that in 2015, the sale of home improvement products will grow by 5.7 percent. The Consumer Market is expected to report a 5.9 percent growth while the Professional Market will come in at 5.0 percent. Afterwards, it is expected that housing activity will decrease somewhat, with growth in sales of home improvement products being expected to be around 4.9 percent in 2016-2017.
It is easy to see that many homeowners are actively engaged in the process of improving their homes, and this trend is expected to continue. Even though the home improvement marketplace is dependent on the stock market, employment and other macroeconomic factors, home improvement will still be a priority in the United States. “We don’t see the question as whether a homeowner will invest in his or her home, the question is what home improvements he or she will make and we expect 2015 to be a very strong year,” explains Ihab Barrawi, President and CEO of BuyRailings.com.