The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is revealing the latest information from the NARI Second Quarterly Business Review — and it is positive news. The second-quarter research, which measures remodelers' assessments of business conditions, shows NARI members believe the current business climate is slightly more positive than the same time last year.

“There are clear indications that some of our NARI members believe that they have weathered the storm, and expect consumer confidence to return in a more consistent pace going forward,” says Kevin Anundson, CR, CKBR, NARI national secretary and president of Owner Assisted Remodeling,  Elm Grove, Wis.

In fact, data shows that NARI members forecast stronger sales growth in the next three months, based on three key factors: Postponement of projects (80%), growth due to low interest rates (50%), and 35% believe improving home prices are also a significant factor.

Remodelers say consumer confidence has a different tone this time around. “People are aware that that their home values may not be as high as they once were, yet that only affects those that are forced to sell,” Anundson says. “Many homeowners have made the decision to remain in their home and are choosing to make improvements and increase their comfort and long-term living accommodations. This thought process allows them to be much less concerned about returns on investment and resale values.”

This is supported by a homeowner poll conducted on NARI’s website in May 2012, which showed that 28% of homeowners planned on staying in their home up to five years longer because of the economy. Still, NARI members keep a conservative outlook on business conditions and are working hard to maintain the tighter and more efficient systems implemented during the past several years.

“As with most business owners, remodelers are only increasing staff when it makes good financial sense,” Anundson says. “We are actively striving to keep overhead low, while continuing to invest in effective marketing strategies. Even as the remodeling market improves, we have gained a new insight into the fluid nature of our national economy.”

Additional findings related to the overall business conditions:

  •  Number of inquires has increased since last year
  •  Requests for bids has increased since last year
  •  Conversion of bids to jobs has increased since last year
  •  Sales value of jobs sold has  increased since last year