Karen E. Varga
The other day, I was reading the local news and a piece about property values caught my eye. In the Cleveland suburb that I live in, home values have gone up almost 8 percent over the past three years. The city is becoming more desirable to live in, especially for young professionals, and houses are snapped up quickly, often selling in a matter of days or weeks. We’re seeing firsthand how the housing market is rebounding, especially this year. The planning and development director notes that there has been steady improvement over the past four or five years, which is on par with what we’re seeing nationwide.
According to an August 2015 report by Kiplinger, a Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, the housing market is steadily recovering and is showing no signs of stagnating any time soon. New home construction is up, especially of multifamily homes, contributing to a 12-percent overall increase in housing starts since late 2014, a great sign for the horticultural industry. As you well know, new housing means an increase in demand for landscaping and the plants that go into new yards.
The report also indicated that 2015 may have the best home sales since 2008. One interesting point to note though, and one that we heard keynote speaker Curt Steinhorst talk about at Cultivate’15, is that not as many young people are buying homes due to residual student debt, problems getting credit and high rent; they’re waiting longer to make the jump from renting to buying.
While the state of the housing market is far from the only economic indicator affecting the horticulture market, it’s still good news for our market. In this year’s State of the Industry Report, we found that almost all growers reported sales that were at least as good or better than last year — 24 percent with flat sales and 66 percent with increased sales. Only 8 percent were down from last year. Edibles are still going strong, but we’re also seeing an uptick in annuals/bedding color and perennials production and demand. Turn to page 13 to read the 2015 State of the Industry Report.
Have something to share about your year or a new idea that’s been working well for you? Send me an email at email@example.com or give me a call — I’d love to hear about it.