Kalamazoo and Portage Real Estate – The number of snow days for the Kalamazoo Public Schools has nothing to do with the snowball effect we speak of in our title! Neither do the skiing conditions at Timber Ridge or Bittersweet! The ‘snowball effect’ being discussed in print and on TV won’t soften anytime soon (even if the groundhog was right about winter being over).
We are referring to an economic snowball — one that’s gathering momentum following what CNN’s Money website describes as “the best year for U.S. real estate market in five years.” Businesses that stand to benefit from growth in the greater Kalamazoo housing market are watching closely.
The Wall Street Journal’s snowball report took form in January 28,203 Marketplace section, where the top headline read “Housing Recovery Opens Spigot…Makers of Products From Carpets to Air Conditioners Feel Effects of Rebound.”
It was even more heartening as a counter to recent government indications that the greater economy seemed to slow. The housing sector’s performance was so strong it acted as a tonic to its many associated industries: apparently among them, many greater Kalamazoo retailers who anecdotally at least, have been making many positive comments about their recent sales activity.
The snowball effect was noted widely nationally too. The company that makes Carrier air conditioners said that orders rose 20%; Honeywell International reported the “first sign of life we have had in a while.”
Greater Kalamazoo businesses remain hopeful that their businesses will also continue to be swept up in the snowball. National suppliers expected that to happen. “Housing is what we see leading the economy out of the doldrums,” according to the CFO of United Technologies Corp. The WSJ reported evidence that Americans are spending more to build and refurbish their properties.
With sales of existing housing registering the largest annual jump since 2004, it should come as no surprise if Credit Suisse’s Daniel Oppenheim proves correct in predicting a 7%-8% rise in home improvement spending. He expects it to keep going for at least the next two years. That’s a pretty solid forecast, and in line with what most observers are saying.
All in all, the boost from the housing recovery is one snowball no one seems to think is likely to melt soon — regardless of what Punxsutawney Phil has to say about it.