Plumbing supplies sales ride wave of home rising improvements

TAMPA, FLA. Total plumbing supplies sales to consumers in 2004 for existing homes reached $23.5 billion, up 16% from 2003, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute. Overall, home-improvement product sales reached $271 billion in 2004, the highest on record since HIRI began tracking this data in 1984. Spending increased 12.6% last year from 2003 levels. "There is a strong underlying trend

TAMPA, FLA. — Total plumbing supplies sales to consumers in 2004 for existing homes reached $23.5 billion, up 16% from 2003, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute. Overall, home-improvement product sales reached $271 billion in 2004, the highest on record since HIRI began tracking this data in 1984. Spending increased 12.6% last year from 2003 levels.

"There is a strong underlying trend of discretionary upgrades, driven in part by the active housing market and the baby boom generation in its peak earning years," HIRI Managing Director Fred Miller said. "But there is also the repair and replacement side of remodeling fueling the industry from year to year, driven by the aging housing stock, as well as damage from accidents and disasters."

Last year's hurricanes in Florida are estimated to have added a percentage point to 2004's growth rate. HIRI has raised its estimate for home-improvement product purchasing in 2005 to $287 billion from an estimate of $281 billion issued in November 2004. HIRI forecasts $25 billion in total plumbing supplies sales for 2005. Next year, plumbing supplies sales should hit $26.13 billion, an increase of 4.4%, HIRI said.

Consumers are responsible for about three-quarters of home-improvement product purchases and HIRI expects gains of 5.9% in 2005 product sales to consumers. Sales to home-improvement professionals are expected to increase 5.3% this year.

The increased estimate is based on residential housing activity and other economic factors and did not consider forecasts for the 2005 hurricane season. Plumbing supplies sales involve purchases from all outlets.

The long-term outlook for the homeimprovement products market remains strong, although HIRI's most recent quarterly Home Improvement Consumer Project Activity and Sentiment Report shows some softening in planned remodeling for the second quarter. Total market growth for homeimprovement products sales 2006-2009 is projected to average 4.6% per year in current dollars.

HIRI is a not-for-profit association that conducts research on the U.S. residential improvement and repair market. This outlook, included in HIRI's semi-annual Size of Industry report, includes products purchased for existing residential structures, excluding new construction and nonresidential activities. Non-HIRI members will be able to purchase the market forecasts in December.

HIRI's research is funded by its membership of more than 70 companies, which include retailers, manufacturers, publishers, distributors and securities firms. For more information, visit www.hiri.org or call 813/627-6750.

TAGS: Remodeling