Unofficial Housing Market Indicator

Unofficial Housing Market Indicator

To look at the attendance at the 2010 Midwest Home Show one would have to assume one of two things. Either it’s a nasty fall day, in which case folks are in search for a place to spend their day inside, or consumer confidence regarding home improvements is up.

For the last twenty years, I’ve spent several weekends in the spring and fall talking with people at home shows. In the good old days, when the Minneapolis Convention Center was only three domes and the Spring Home and Garden Show was the only ticket in town, the aisles would consist of a single mass of slow moving people. As an exhibitor you didn’t dare step out of your booth for fear that the crowd would sweep you away.

With the expansion of the Convention Center, the explosion of local home improvement shows, the downcast housing market, and a limping economy, to say that the crowds have thinned out would be an understatement!

But perhaps we are starting to see a change. This year the show has been surprisingly busy. And the topic of conversation from those who venture in to talk with an architect? New homes, additions and renovations, conversion of lake homes into retirement homes; you name it I’ve heard it.

So does this mean that the housing market is on the mend? Is the economy really starting to recover? Or are people just plain tired of waiting around for things to improve to do what they want to do? Not sure. I’m no market analyst, but from my point of view, there seems to be something stirring in the air.

But then again it could just be the weather. It is a balmy 21 degrees outside!