Photo Credit: Kolbe Windows & Doors
Most of the presentations at the WDMA 2020 Fall Conference included some information or data about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, Matt Ritchie, Director, Qualitative Analysis and Casey Olson, Senior Industry Analyst, Windows & Doors from Principia Consulting presented research findings starting from an elevated view of the macroeconomic landscape then took a deep dive into how the pandemic has impacted the window and door market.
2020 was poised to be a big year for the windows and door market, but when shutdowns rolled across the US, the question most industry players asked at the outset was how severely would the pandemic impact business and how long would it last. The short answer is while economic shutdowns had significant impacts on the operational and logistics of the supply chain, product demand rebounded more quickly and much stronger than anyone expected.
Retail spending is at record levels, housing starts are the highest they have been since the great recession and residential improvement spending is up double digits. One of the most interesting data points from building and material retailers is that because of demand spikes and supply constrictions, the producer price index shot up by 8% over the summer, which is the largest 2-month increase since this type of data was first tracked, starting in 1992. And even so, the market saw the largest dollar spend ever recorded in the history of retail sales.
Photo Credit: Jeld-Wen
Window and Door Market
In spite of the shutdowns, the outlook for 2020 appears to be slightly higher than the analysts pre-COVID forecasts. Combined, the residential window and door market is expected to reach more than $24 billion in 2020. This represents an increase of $2 billion over 2019 with an increase in volume of 3% and a 7% jump in price.
Looking ahead through 2022, overall demand will increase over the rates seen from 2016-2019. New construction will dip in 2020, but is expected to regain historic growth and windows are expected to slightly outperform doors by volume through 2022. In terms of unit type by volume, single family demand growth will outpace multifamily, which bucks recent trends, partly due to the fact that multifamily units tended to be centered in urban regions hit particularly hard by the pandemic. One survey showed that up to 40% of urban dwellers (including millennials) were considering moving to less dense areas. This could create a potential new housing demand for 2 million new households.
Photo Credit: ProVia
Technology Fueled Interactions
The pandemic will provide some lasting changes in how Americans live and work. Companies are making investments in user experience platforms and technologies that will continue to help buyers, sellers, dealers and installers connect without having to meet in person. For example, large national builders are focusing on a digital home-buyer journey that blends in-person and digital in new and creative virtual environments.
Photo Credit: Kolbe Windows & Doors
Work from Home
One of the biggest societal and workplace changes is being seen in the number of people working from home. Pre-COVID, about 5% of Americans worked from home at least part of the time. Now, it is around 25% through 2021. In fact, nearly 45% of full-time employees said they want to work remotely more often even after the pandemic.
People are going to be spending more time at home and they are open to new ways to optimize the experience. Windows can be part of the solution for an increased need for better ventilation, air quality and more natural light. Smart glass can play a role in privacy and thermal control. Doors can contribute to sound abatement, partitioning multipurpose spaces and continue to connect the indoor living space with the increasingly critical outdoor space. Higher demand for larger doors and windows to bring the outdoors in is expected to accelerate.
Photo Credit: Pella
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