Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Beiges/Bones Are Most Popular Kitchen/Bath Color Schemes

The three most popular color schemes for kitchens this Spring were beiges/bones, cited by 55% of respondents, whites/off-whites (50%), and browns (39%). That's according to the NKBA Dealer/Designer Style Barometer, which polled 200 dealers and designers about their clients’ style and color selections for kitchens and baths during the period April-June, 2008.
Bronzes/terracottas were cited by 34%, mints/greens by 19%, stainless steel by 18%, Sepiatones by 12%, reds by 11%, and saffrons by 11%.
Beiges/bones were the most popular bath color scheme (59%), followed by whites/off-whites (52%) and mints/greens (32%). Other color schemes mentioned as popular were browns (31%), blues (25%), bronzes/terracottas (18%) and sepiatones (12%).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Consumer Confidence Improves in August

Although still well below last year's levels, the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index improved in August to 56.9 (1985 = 100). The Expectations Index increased to 52.8 from 42.7 in July.
Said Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center: "Consumer confidence readings suggest that the economy remains stuck in neutral, but may be showing signs of improvement by early next year. Declines in the Present Situation Index, both in terms of business conditions and the labor market, appear to be moderating. The Expectations Index, which posted a significant gain this month, suggests better times may be ahead. However, overall readings are still quite low by historical standards and it is still too early to tell if the worst is behind us."

S&P Sees Moderation in Home Price Decline

Although the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed continued declines in the prices of existing single family homes across the United States through the end of June, they also showed some reason for cautious optimism.
"While there is no national turnaround in residential real estate prices, it is possible that we are seeing some regions struggling to come back, which has resulted in some moderation in price declines at the national level" says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. "The rate of home price decline may be slowing."
At the national level, the housing market peaked around June/July of 2006. As of June 2008, two years later, the 10-City Composite has fallen by 20.3% and the 20-City Composite is down 18.8%.

Traditional, Contemporary and Shaker Are Top Kitchen Bath Styles This Spring

Traditional, contemporary and Shaker styles were the three leading styles for cutting edge kitchens and baths during the Spring of 2008. That’s according to the NKBA Dealer/Designer Style Barometer, which polled 200 dealers and designers about their clients’ style and color selections for kitchens and baths during the period April-June, 2008.
Forty-seven percent of the dealers and designers who responded were certified, and 86% designed both kitchens and baths; 12% designed kitchens only and the remaining 3% did baths only. Average kitchen job designed by the panel was priced at $51,710, and the average bath job at $30,344, confirming the elite status of the projects created.
Asked to characterize the three most popular styles of kitchens this Spring, 67% said traditional, 48% said contemporary, and 35% said Shaker. Arts and Crafts was mentioned by 25%, Tuscan by 21%, and Cottage by 16%.
Asked to name the three most popular styles in the baths they design, 71% cited traditional, 59% cited contemporary, and 23% said Shaker. Seventeen percent each said cottage, Arts and Crafts, or Asian fusion were among their three most popular bath styles.

Monday, August 25, 2008

July Existing Home Sales Show Uptick

While still well behind (-13.2%) 2007's pace, existing home sales for July posted a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5 million units, up 3.1% from June. Single family existing home sales were also up 3.1% from June to a 4.39 million-unit pace, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Through seven months, nearly 2.9 million existing homes have been sold, down 11.8% from 2007's same period results.
Average existing home price during July was $254,000, down 8.0% from the average for the same month in 2007. At current sales rates, there are 11.2 months' worth of unsold homes on the market.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

July Kitchen Appliance Shipments Basically Flat

Some 3.2 million kitchen appliances were shipped in July, just 0.6% below the shipment level for July, 2007, according to AHAM. For the first seven months of 2008, some 23.1 million appliances have been shipped, down 9.0% from the same period last year.
Microwave oven shipments were up 17.7% for the month, with nearly 922,000 units shipped.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Home Depot Sales Down 5% in Second Quarter; Lowe's Up 2%

Home Depot reports its sales were off 5.4% in the second quarter, compared to the same period of 2007, at $21.0 billion. Same store sales dipped 7.9% for the period. Through the first six months of its fiscal year, sales for the Atlanta based giant were down 4.5% at $40.7 billion.
Lowe's sales for the second quarter were up 2.4% to $14.5 billion, with same store sales down 5.3%. For the first half, Lowe's sales hit $26.5 billion, a 0.7% increase over the first half of 2007.

July Starts Dip 30%

Housing starts in July dipped to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 965,000 units, down 29.6% from the same month in 2007, according to the Census Bureau. Single family starts fell to a rate of 641,000 units, down 39.2% and the lowest pace since January of 1991.
Permits dipped 32.4% to an annualized rate of 937,000 units during July, while single family permits fell 41.4% to a rate of 584,000 units per year.
NAHB/Wells Fargo's Housing Market Index for August showed builder confidence low but steady and sales expectations up slightly. “While our overall measure of builder confidence remains at a record low at this time, it is a good sign that two out of three of the HMI’s component indexes rose in August, and this may be an indication that we are nearing the bottom of the long downswing in new-home sales,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. “Our current forecast shows stabilization of sales during the second half of this year, followed by solid recovery in 2009 and beyond.”

Friday, August 15, 2008

Who Could Possibly Mix Up a Toilet and a Barbecue?

Underwriters Laboratories, that's who:
"The EcoJohn Sr. is a waterless, incinerating toilet certified for safety
by Underwriters Laboratories, which, for classification purposes, called it a
barbecue. "

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kitchen and Bath Color Trends for 2009

A friend of ours, Denise Turner of Colorturners, who is a member of the Color Marketing Group, gives KBDeltaVee a look at color trends in kitchens and baths for 2009.

"The soft economy and plummeting housing market has definitely affected the 2009 color palette. Many manufacturers are sticking to the basics. They are reframing from wildly spinning the color wheel, for concern of generating possible non-sellable goods.
Consumers perceive neutrals as “safe purchases” because they are timeless classics, adding longevity to the product’s life.
Is it any wonder that earth inspired neutrals of browns, grays and greens continue to be the primary colors? These hues are safe and make us feel safe in turbulent times. Either standing alone or supporting brighter hues, these chic and luxurious subtle colors gave focus to form, texture and pattern with interplay of shadows and light.

YELLOW is moving in three directions. From an elegant gold, with formal antique influences, which has been with us for a couple years, to a vibrant yellow-orange and a new soft optimistic yellow that works as a neutral.
ORANGE is slightly losing some of its brown cast of previous years, to a more vibrant, playful hue. Deep corals are gaining in popularity and are being used in to add pop other color families. Terra cottas continue to be best sellers in many products.
RED & PINK swing from yellow-based reds to blue-based reds. They include a spicy yellow-based red, a highly saturated orange-based red and a powerful blue-based-pink. They are influenced by China, South East Asia and Mexico. Red will continue to gain acceptance in accents and smaller appliances, which in recent years would have been in off-white.
VIOLET has shifted from a blue-based violet to a red-based raspberry hue. Violets are not big sellers for most industries; they are being used in small amounts for pop in neutral palettes.
BLUE continues to be a favorite this year. Spa blues are still prevalent however a shift to bolder, highly saturated blues that get your attention. There’s a new navy blue and a near-black as well. The mineral-based blue in combination with dark brown have been a best seller for three years, however they are about to go their separate ways.
GREEN continues to be highly influenced by environmental issues. Whether it is being motivated subconsciously, through direct natural colors, eco-sustainability or by the organic culture these are all affecting the green family. Yellow-based greens still remain strong; there is a shift blue-influenced greens as well.
BROWN is a color we just can’t get enough of. Brown is the ubiquitous color family in virtually every industry. It continues to either stand alone in monochromatic schemes or complement brighter color families. There is growing interest in lighter mid-tone browns; yellow and red overtoned browns remain popular."

July Foreclosures up 55%

There were more than 272,000 foreclosures during July, up 55% from the same month in 2007, according to RealtyTrac. One in every 464 U.S. households received a foreclosure notice during the month.
Nevada continued to document the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in July, with one in every 106 households receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Foreclosure activity in Nevada was up 97% from July, 2007. One in every 182 California homes were foreclosed on in July, and 1 in every 186 Florida properties were served.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008