News Developments – September 2021

Sept Issue

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Lineage is Introduced as Affordable, American-Made Furniture

Chris Pelcher, former executive vice president, general manager and chief merchandising officer for Art Van, Wolf and Levin Furniture, recently debuted his new case-goods line, Lineage Furniture.

This new furniture line uses solid U.S. Hardwoods and is manufactured only in the United States (in Vermont and Ohio). When he was preparing for the August launch for the manufacturing of this furniture, he contacted more than 50 of the top 100 furniture retailers. “The response has been incredible,” he stated.

Lineage will launch with eight domestically made, all-wood master bedroom collections. The bedrooms are crafted from American Appalachian Hardwoods like Maple, Oak and Cherry. Solid wood Queen beds will start at under $599 (cost). Queen bed, dresser and mirror packages start at under $1,499 (cost). 

“The goal was to position the line at or near landed pricing for higher end Vietnamese or Indonesian bedrooms and well under other U.S.-made goods,” Pelcher observed. “The big advantage with Lineage is it’s made in the USA, and we have production availability for the quantities retailers need now.” 

Of the eight new collections, five groups will come out of Lineage’s Northeast production facility and three will come out of its Midwest factory. 

The Northeast goods will feature 66-inch by 40-inch dressers, 56 to 60-inch-high headboards, contrasted English dovetail drawer boxes and a proprietary new mattress support system. 

The products coming from the Midwest will be in the Lineage ELITE program. These products are all hand-built by Amish and Mennonite craftsman. They will have a selection of best-selling special-order colors available. 

For more information, email Cpelcher@lineagefurniture.com.

High Level of Home Improvements Expected to Continue

Annual gains in homeowner improvement and maintenance spending are set to accelerate in the second half of the year and remain elevated through mid-year 2022, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released recently by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects annual growth in home renovation and repair expenditures will reach 8.6 percent by the second quarter of next year.

“Home remodeling will likely grow at a faster pace given the ongoing strength of home sales, house price appreciation, and new residential construction activity,” says Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “A significant rise in permits for home improvements also indicates that owners are continuing to invest in bigger discretionary and replacement projects.”

“Larger gains in retail sales of building materials suggest the remodeling market continues to be lifted by DIY activity as well,” said Abbe Will, Associate Project Director in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Center. “By the middle of next year, annual remodeling expenditures to owner-occupied homes are expected to surpass $380 billion.”

A year after the unprecedented changes to the U.S. economy brought on by the pandemic, many economic indicators are showing extreme percent changes from pandemic-induced lows. To reduce the immense growth rate volatility generated by these year-over-year comparisons, the projection for 2022-Q2 utilizes smoothed data for two leading model inputs: residential remodeling permits and single-family housing starts. Using unsmoothed inputs in the LIRA model would have projected an unlikely annual growth rate roughly twice as large as reported. The Remodeling Futures Program will continue to monitor input volatility.

For more information, contact Kerry Donahue at 617-495-7640 or kerry_donahue@harvard.edu.

Cabinet Manufacturers Recover from COVID Lockdown

According to the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association’s (KCMA) monthly Trend of Business Survey, participating cabinet manufacturers reported an increase in overall cabinet sales of 32.9 percent for May 2021 compared to the same month in 2020, according to the most recent data available. Custom sales are up 26.9 percent, semi-custom increased 32.6 percent, and stock sales increased 34.4 percent.

The numbers reflect the continued recovery from the height of the pandemic lockdown. When looking at the month-to-month comparison, cabinet sales varied slightly one way or the other. Overall sales increased 0.8 percent in May 2021 compared to April 2021. Custom sales were down 2.0 percent, semi-custom sales up 2.1 percent, and stock sales increased 0.5 percent.

Sales in 2021 remain strong. Overall year-to-date cabinet sales are up 21.6 percent when compared to the same time period in 2020. Custom sales are up 23.5 percent, semi-custom sales increased 21.3 percent and stock sales increased 21.4 percent.

Survey participants include stock, semi-custom and custom companies whose combined sales represent approximately 75 percent of the U.S. kitchen cabinet and bath vanity market. KCMA is the major trade association for kitchen cabinet and bath vanity manufacturers and key suppliers of goods and services to the industry. KCMA has been compiling and reporting industry sales data for more than 40 years.

For more information, go to www.kcma.org.

NAHB Seeks Expansion of Housing Supply

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) CEO Jerry Howard testified before Congress recently and called on lawmakers to enact key policy proposals that will help home builders to expand the housing supply, reduce the housing deficit and improve housing affordability for all Americans.

During a hearing before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight on the topic of expanding housing access to all Americans, Howard noted that rising home prices, apartment rents and construction costs represent additional risks to housing affordability for prospective home buyers and renters.

“Over the past decade, the residential construction industry has underbuilt and not kept pace with demand due to several supply-side constraints,” said Howard. “These include a lack of skilled labor and buildable lots, tight lending conditions, shortages and rapidly rising prices for building materials, and excessive regulatory burdens that have added approximately 25 percent to the cost of a single-family home and 33 percent to a multifamily unit. Progress must be made on all fronts to ease the supply-side challenges that are holding back housing production.”

With the persistent lack of housing stock representing the most significant challenge for prospective home buyers, Howard called on Congress and the Biden administration to take the following steps to expand access to affordable housing:

  • Fix the building materials supply chain. The United States must immediately engage with Canada to adopt a new softwood lumber agreement and stop the imposition of harmful tariffs on Canadian lumber that increase prices and price volatility. 
  • Improve the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Congress needs to enact H.R. 2573, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. 
  • Reformulate current homeownership tax incentives. Recent tax changes have undermined the effectiveness of the mortgage interest deduction.

For more information, go to www.nahb.org

By Miller Wood Trade Publications

The premier online information source for the forest products industry since 1927.

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