Now that we’re past the first quarter of 2014, numbers and predictions for the rest of the year are aplenty. I’m sure you’ve heard general optimism for 2014 as a whole.
In early May, Metrostudy released their latest Residential Remodeling Index (“RRI”) for the first quarter of 2014. The RRI is used to “provide the industry visibility into local market remodeling activity, forecasted future activity, and potential demand.” Activity in this case includes any home improvement project, excluding general maintenance and jobs under $1000.
Metrostudy used their 2013 reports to predict that “360 out of 381 Metropolitan Statistical Areas should see year-over-year growth in remodeling and replacement projects in 2014, with markets averaging growth of 5 percent.” Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist as Hanley Wood, released a statement on the overall report:
The first quarter was only slightly weaker than forecasted amidst strong housing market fundamentals, better consumer confidence, and improving economic conditions. We are hearing from remodelers and contractors all across the country that the winter did impact their ability to execute from job site issues to labor and material delays. With the winter now behind us and our forecast remaining strong for 2014, we expect to see the pace of growth improve throughout the year. Remodelers remain quite confident about their business. On a national basis, the quality and volume of their job backlog is high and the corresponding quality and volume of leads and inquiries is even higher.
Our business reflects the same trend. During the long, challenging winter, we saw record numbers of applications and approvals, but job times were extended, sometimes by weeks. Now, we’re seeing those jobs complete and loans fund—again in record numbers. There is still a significant backlog, but our contractors are steadily whittling it away.
What kind of activity has your business seen in the first half of 2014? Do you have any forecasts of your own?
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