From Dan Harding on May 11, 2009 in Remodeling News
Photo credit: New York Times
With building materials at record lows and annual spending on renovations down by almost twenty-five percent, it’s the perfect time to get great value on a remodeling project. Adding to this consumer bonanza is the onset of builders entering the market. With housing starts slumping — down 80 percent from their high mark in the first part of 2006 — more builders are available for smaller renovation or remodeling projects. Advantage consumer.
Think about this for a minute, if you could add greater value to your home at historically low prices for materials and labor, you might regret not acting sooner to take advantage of some savings. This buyer’s market may not last for long, especially if the economy rebounds later this year as many are predicting. But for now, all indicators are giving consumers the green light on that remodeling project.
David Crowe, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, told the New York Times that he’s never seen economic factors this favorable for the shopper. “Consumers are the ones in the driver’s seat now,” he said. “It’s the worst of times for the builders and remodelers, who are very anxious, but it’s the best of times for consumers.”
Because the demand is lower across the board, builders and contractors are able to lower prices to the consumer. Imagine saving $3,000 on a second bathroom. That was the case for Stephan Curley and Elizabeth Curley O’Malley, a North Portland couple living in a 1,100 square ft. house. They got an estimate on roof repairs and asked about adding a second bathroom. Contractor Kirk Linder gave them a huge discount, in large part because of the price drop in materials and the company needing the work. Last year at this time, Linder said that job would have been $9,000, but he did it for a 30 percent discount. Even with all this good news for consumers, some believe the market hasn’t reached rock bottom.
The NYTimes article indicated that many homeowners are going to wait and see on renovation projects. They think costs will continue to slide, meaning that a remodeling project priced at $30,000 could cost even less, if you’re patient. In this new economic landscape, consumers can get more bang for their buck, but you never know when prices will go back up.