Dreaming of Small Homes and Simpler Lives
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In 2010, homes selling for $1 million or more increased by 18.6% according to DataQuick Information Systems. At the same time, sales of homes priced under $1 million declined by 2.8%. The gain in high-end home sales was sharpest in Los Angeles and San Jose, New York City and Washington, DC. Markets benefited from the surge in Internet social media and entertainment markets, recovery in the financial service industry, and rising Federal government spending. The consumer confidence index for households making more than $50,000 a year hit a nearly three-year high in January 2011, while the index for households earning under $50,000 remains below their spring 2010 highs.
Energy producing states, such as North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming, are another key target. Rising energy costs have resulted in below average unemployment rates and above average income gains in these states.
North Dakota’s economy, for example, is booming due to the discovery and production of the Bakken oil reserve. In contrast to the rest of the country, it is facing a housing shortage and considering no interest housing loans to spur home building there.
A recent analysis of U.S. ceramic tile demand indicates that per capita sales in Texas are 65% above the national average. Above average consumption in Texas is due in part to stronger state income gains, a healthier Texas home building market, and above average performance for the state’s nonresidential construction spending.
In contrast to rising food costs that may be adversely impacting flooring demand in the Atlantic and Pacific regions, soaring farm incomes in states like Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, indicate that flooring distributors should strengthen their sales effort in those areas. In fact, U.S. farm proprietor income rose by 53.3% in Q4 2010 over the previous year, while total U.S. personal income rose by only 4.0% in Q4. Your goal should be to get farm area households to use more high-end flooring in remodeling projects as their incomes rise.