According to Don Sciolaro, CEO of the Hackettstown, NJ-based National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), economic indicators and many top analysts contend "that the recession is over - that most markets already bottomed out and are beginning a slow recovery. So, the question now isn't whether things will get worse," he says, "but how quickly they'll recover."
Forecast 2010 Slow Road to RECOVERY leads, longer lead-to-close times, now isn’t whether things will get While many experts By John Filippelli smaller-ticket jobs – often at worse,” he says, “but how quickly lower profit margins – and greater they’ll recover.” foresee, at best, a F or kitchen and bath design competition for customers. The extension of the $8,000 professionals, the past However, there are now some first-time home buyer tax credit, modest recovery 24 months have certainly been a test. Ongoing news encouraging signs that not only may the worst be over, but that signed into law recently, is expected to have a substantial for housing in 2010, reports of foreclosures, rising unemployment rates, there’s legitimate reason for long- term optimism (see Editorial, stimulative effect on home sales, and should assist the nation’s decreased consumer conﬁdence Page 7). housing market on the road kitchen and bath and plummeting home prices According to Don Sciolaro, to recovery, according to the have created a climate of CEO of the Hackettstown, Washington, DC-based National designers look to carefully controlled purse strings, with product shipments down NJ-based National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), economic Association of Home Builders. The home-buyer incentive turn challenges into signiﬁcantly and a great deal of discretionary spending on hold. indicators and many top analysts contend “that the recession is extension should boost both housing production and home sales opportunity. As a result, kitchen/bath dealers and designers have seen over – that most markets already bottomed out and are beginning in 2010, according to David Crowe, chief economist for the NAHB. markedly decreased traffic, fewer a slow recovery. So, the question Crowe notes that the latest permit patterns indicate that builders “are preparing for the possibility of more favorable housing market 1. Past and Projected Figures For U.S. Housing Starts (in Thousands of Units) conditions in the future.” Aided by the home-buyer tax 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 credit, the outlook for housing and the economy appears headed “for Single-Family Units 1,474 1,036 616 451 615 891 a sustainable recovery,” according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Lawrence Yun, Multi-Family Units 338 306 285 108 80 150 chief economist for the Washington, DC-based NAR, projects that
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