US Market Update

Posted by Dave Farley
November 1st, 2012

A few comments, suggestions, and ideas that may be of interest to industry…

A few weeks back, I attended the Multifamily Housing Conference and Trade Event at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas. This event was organized by the publishing group, Hanley Wood who also organizes a number of other shows in the construction sector including: Surfaces, Deck Expo, and JLC Live.

The Multifamily show draws a small but influential group of builders, developers, and construction professionals who focus on the apartment, condominium, and hotel markets. Actual participation numbers were not readily available but show organizers expected that over a thousand attendees were at the 2012 event. In conjunction with the conference, Hanley Wood sponsored a product exhibition and trade show where manufacturers could showcase products targeted at the multifamily sector. Some seventy five companies participated in the trade event including BC Wood member, Woodtone.<br><Br>

The general consensus from the conference was that the multifamily sector was experiencing decent growth after the market collapse of 2008 and this sector is expected to lead the United States in construction activity over the next two years. The term value engineered was frequently heard suggesting that while the sector was experiencing growth, builders were looking for products that added to the quality of their project without adding any significant construction costs. As one builder aptly put it, “we want the look and feel of quality without having to pay an increased cost for it.” A difficult task for manufacturers looking to sell into the multifamily sector, but one it seems that buyers are now expecting.

The positive news coming out of the conference is the continued push back purchasers are having toward low cost product out of Asia. Buyers I spoke to believe that product out of North America offer higher quality and are an attractive selling feature to potential customers. Whether builders and developers are willing to pay the higher manufacturing costs associated with buying North American remains to be seen; however, I believe that there remains a good opportunity for select BC manufacturers to have success selling into the multifamily housing sector across the United States.

For more information on this event or other markets in the United States, please contact me at

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