The Home Show and the economy

BusinessFinanceChris Cunningham

With attendance running ahead of pace for the last two years, the Indianapolis Home Show wrapped up Sunday with home remodelers picking up the slack where central Indiana's homebuilding market has faltered.
The builder of this year's centerpiece home, CP Morgan, expects to close on 650 new houses this year, down about 100 from 2008, according to sales director Ronda Cooper.
"Most local economists that we have talked to agree that 2009 is the year that the market is poised for a recovery."
Home remodelers say they were surprised by the number of potential customers who have opted to fix up their current homes instead of building new.
"This is what they're thinking," said Joe Tiedman of Case Handyman & Remodeling of Carmel. "If I'm going to be here a while, I'm going to fix it up and enjoy it while I can so what they're ding is remodeling those 10-, 15-, 20-year old bathrooms, updating their kitchens sometimes with new cabinets, sometimes with new countertops, new hardwood, that sort of thing. People aren't having any trouble financing smaller projects."
Chris Cunningham of Service Plus Heating & Air Conditioning estimates he'll do $100,000 worth of business based on Home Show contacts.
"The start of this year has been wonderful for us. Sales are up 20% because of people replacing their existing systems and not just buying another home."

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