Supply chain woes are becoming less problematic for DIYers and Pros, BUT homeowner uncertainty and increased project delays may prove consequential for Pros and manufacturers alike when backlogged projects are completed and new project starts slow. Higher prices has become an accepted cost of doing business, but price pressures continue to drive Pros and DIYers to consider alternative options.
In the Eyes of Trade Professionals
13.2% of Pros purchased a more expensive brand or product in July, compared to 6.3% in March. This could be due to competitors increasing entry level product prices such that contractors’ value assessment hold that it’s more beneficial to spend a little more for higher quality.
31.8% of Pros purchased a cheaper brand or product in July compared to just 23% back in March.
Whereas in May of 2022, we saw a slight spike in the number of Pros who were purchasing more materials than previously planned, partially due to the perception that it would just be more expensive to buy it tomorrow, this trend appears to have slowed as of July 2022.
71% of Pros stated that product availability is their #1 reason for project delays, which was only 40% last August.
The number of Pros reporting that home improvement product prices have caused cancelled or postponed projects has held steady at about 15% each month since we began tracking this metric in March of 2022.
We continue to see the highest percentage of Pros having trouble getting Lumber, Treated Lumber and Plywood. Close behind are challenges in procuring materials like roofing, insulation, and drywall, with overall delays lasting roughly two weeks.
In the Eyes of Homeowners (DIY and DIFM)
We continue to see decreasing sentiments among DIY and DIFM homeowners on whether now is a good time to remodel.
- 26.1% of respondents this month see now as a “really bad time” or a “somewhat bad time” compared to 17.9% who said the same around this time last year.
- On the other side of the coin, only 40.1% see now as a “really good time” or “somewhat good time” to remodel, down from 55% with a highly positive outlook one year ago.
6 in 10 homeowners who postponed a home improvement project in July did so because of material prices and their budget/financial priorities.
Another 1 in 4 homeowners put off remodeling projects because of challenges getting contractors or difficulties in other scheduling and timing of the project completion.
At the same time, homeowners do not appear to be slowing down and intent to start new home improvement projects in the next few weeks remains strong. 61.8% of DIYers indicated definite or probable intent to start a project, down from 68.8% this time last year, but still a strong indicator of project intent.
Nearly all of the change has shifted into the category of “unsure” rather than indicating they are for certain no projects will be started.
We see a slow, but long-term trend that shows fewer homeowners see this as a good time to start a remodeling project, but for the past two months its due to more homeowners feeling unsure. This aligns with historical norms as retail sales often mirror homeowner intent.
We expected to see retail sales drop slightly in June in step with decreased homeowner intent and the data rings true with that prior forecast. Looking ahead, we expect to see the uncertainty of remodeling reported by 1 in 3 homeowners continue to drive overall retail sales down comparatively. Overall, we are bullish still on homeowner intent to remodel their homes to match lifestyle preferences and modernize older homes.
For two months straight fewer DIY and DIFM have had trouble with material availability. 46% said they did NOT experience material shortages. This is in line with increasing inventories in retail across various product categories.
As we see supply chain challenges go down, we see fewer homeowners trying a new brand, product or supplier. Only 18% of DIY or DIFM tried a new brand for the first time last month compared to 29.5% around this time last year.