International Door & Operator Industry

SEP-OCT 2017

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 31 of 118

Although construction activity remains fairly vigorous, there are several forces that are causing concern. First, throughout construction, including the garage door industry there is a continuing and growing shortage of construction skills in the labor force. The recession caused many people to move out of the trade crafts and into other careers, and the shortage is now causing project delays. Second, with traditional retailing increasingly threatened by on-line vendors, there is the potential for a glut of vacant retail space to reduce new construction opportunities. Of course, vacant buildings typically energize renovation and conversion, and historically that has been profitable activity for garage door dealers. A third issue is continuing low prices for oil and other energy commodities. Building and capital expenditures in the energy sector tend to be postponed until prices demonstrate a distinct upward trend, and that has yet to develop in 2017. The outlook for housing is generally robust, albeit builders have not been able to increase the inventory of new houses as rapidly as they would like, largely because MANAGEMENT by John Zoller & David Bowen, Zoller Consulting, Inc. GARAGE DOOR ACTIVITY INDEX of the labor shortage noted above. After leveling-off in late spring, housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.215 million in June, up 8.3% from May. This is likely to persist due to a high level of backlog, particularly for multifamily projects. As we have noted in earlier commentaries, the average value of garages in newly built houses has increased significantly across the last two to three years. Builders and home buyers alike have found that security, heating costs and certainly aesthetics benefit greatly from the broadened array of garage door designs that have evolved in the last 10 years. In non-residential construction, there is some softening of demand, which is troublesome, but not a matter of alarm. Overall, commercial building is growing at an annualized pace of about 5.0%, but given increased costs, that does not translate into significant growth. Like housing, commercial projects are reflecting a greater appreciation of the security and cost benefits of enriched offerings in rolling, sectional and high-speed doors. 58.9 94.1 100.0 112.5 128.8 137.8 132.5 121.5 108.8 104.5 104.6 107.3 120.8 130.9 134.4 135.1 136.8 25 50 75 100 125 150 175 Index Value The IDA Garage Door Activity Index Base Year = 2003 Designed, calculated and maintained for IDA by Zoller Consulting, Inc. Copyrighted material. May not be reproduced in whole or part without express written permission of the International Pre- Recession Residential Construction Peak Non-Residential Construction peaked as Residential Construction faltered Extensive business activity, but some softening of the construction market with aspects of uncertainty in energy prices, pending retail vacancies and fewer trained building trades people The average value of most garage door projects is increasing, and demand for garage door operators, security systems and service refinements is expanding V O L U M E 5 0 I S S U E 5 O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 29

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