Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on the International Builders’ Show 2013

What better place to celebrate December’s 54-month high of construction starts than the spot that gambling made famous. No it certainly didn’t feel like a crap-shoot anymore, despite the Las Vegas venue. According to construction market indexes, builders have not felt this confident in light construction since April, 2006.  And, it certainly showed at last week’s International Builders’ Show.  Attendance for the three-day event was initially estimated flat at 50,000…yet the crowds swelled well beyond that mark with an upbeat vibe.

And the event promises to be even bigger next year when it will be co-located with the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, in what is being billed as “Design and Construction Week.” In fact, organizers believe the presence of both shows next February will attract 50% more builders, remodelers, developers, architects, designers and other industry professionals. What’s more, the annual Surfaces show is slated to be joining forces further in the following year.

The backdrop at the show was housing inventory at a ten-year low while employment applications were hitting fresh, five-year bottoms. It only makes sense — as a leading indicator — more people are employed as housing picks up. And chatter was rife with realities of material costs determining price increases. Could this even begin to sound like rumblings of not-so-distant inflation?
In conversations with builders and remodelers on the floor, there appeared renewed desire for the latest and most advanced products and services, designed to attract buyers while helping them differentiate their “shovel ready” homes and projects.  More often than not, the mission in 2013 will continue to be centered around capitalizing on trends… such as outdoor living rooms and easy-to-install, low maintenance products, designed to expand builders’ businesses.

Sure, ample concern remains for a housing market that’s been through a six year decline. We all saw head bobs at a similar juncture in 2009.

Yet this time it feels very different — as home values have continued to rise with some ten consecutive monthly increases… November actually marking the biggest gain since May 2006. The pendulum is swinging back, but of course, it is difficult to say whether it will find a predictable path.

Key Trends at IBS 2013

  1. Outdoor living and exterior design – expanding outside of the home
  2. Expanded color pallets – exterior as well as interior
  3. Durable building materials
  4. Easy lifestyle/low maintenance living
  5. Building science for high performance homes
  6. Pre-assembly
  7. Online business tools and project visualizers
  8. Social media impact and importance

See our picks for Hot Products at IBS 2013 here.