A recent NAHB survey shows the negative effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on the decision to remodel. Over 90 percent of remodelers in the survey reported a slowdown in both the rate at which inquiries are coming in, and in the general willingness of homeowners to remodel at this time.
This information was collected via a question added to the survey for NAHB’s first quarter 2020 Remodeling Market Index (RMI). The RMI question listed eight possible impacts of the coronavirus and asked the professional remodelers in the panel if each has so far had a major, minor, or no adverse effect on their businesses. As indicated above, at the top of the list 96 percent of remodelers said the virus was hurting the rate at which inquiries are coming in and 93 percent said the virus was hurting the general willingness of homeowners to remodel at this time. A full 70 percent characterized the negative impact on inquiries as major rather than minor.
Other adverse impacts on the list have also become widespread. Over 80 percent of remodelers said the virus was having a noticeable, adverse impact on homeowners’ concerns about interacting with remodeling crews (86 percent), supply of n95 respirator face masks (84 percent) and cancellations or delays of existing projects (also 84 percent). Although somewhat less widespread, willingness of workers and subs to report to a remodeling site, supply of building products and materials, and amount homeowners are willing to pay for remodeling work were still cited as significant negative effects of the pandemic by over half of the remodelers.
In some respects, the impact of the coronavirus on the remodeling market mirrors what we’re seeing in the market for new homes. In both cases, the pandemic is having a number of significant negative impacts, but the strongest ones are the negative impacts on the behavior of potential customers.