This year is shaping up to be an exciting year for the industry. It will almost certainly be the best year we’ve experienced since the 2008-2009 recession. That’s what many of you shared in our recent annual Green Industry Guide (GIG) survey.
Is it too much of a stretch to suggest 2015 will approach those halcyon years leading up to the recession? Probably. Nonetheless, business will be on the upswing this year in just about every service category, with construction still lagging but slowly building momentum.
In comparing the results of the 2014 survey to our most recent survey, we see industry growth and profits heading upward. For example, 80 percent of you reported turning a profit in 2014, compared to 76.5 percent in 2013. Similarly, 73 percent of respondents to our most recent survey indicated that they grew their companies this past season compared to 64 percent of the companies reporting growth for 2013.
Equally encouraging, there appears little on the horizon in terms of the U.S. economy to dampen our enthusiasm for the year. Yes, the Fed is likely to raise interest rates this year, which would affect home construction and buying to some degree. But most of us have been expecting that for some time, so the effect may not be that significant in terms of our services. Here are three additional 2015 housing predictions from realtor.com:
- Millennials born between 1981-2000 will make up 65 percent of first-time homebuyers.
- Housing starts barely broke 1 million in 2014, and were driven by multifamily homes. The pace will pick up in 2015 (16 percent growth in starts) and shift in focus.
- Strict mortgage qualification standards are keeping many consumers from buying homes with bank loans. New federal housing policy initiatives may help loosen those standards in 2015.
The industry trends for 2015 are unmistakably encouraging. Let’s keep it going.
Also, let’s quit blaming the recession as a reason why we’re not getting the results we want from our companies. The business will be out there this year if you can sell it and deliver the goods. It’s 2015, and time to move on.