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Factoids

Factoids offer brief snapshots of current topics pertinent to the Furniture industry based on our on-going research. Increase your grasp of current trends, consumer attitudes, and shifts within the industry through solid statistics and concise insight.

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Factoids

Generation X Might Not Be a Bust After All - Homeownership and Furniture Expenditures

This is the final factoid in a series of four factoids focusing on Generation X. Historically named the “Baby Bust Generation,” babies born between 1966 and 1981 are now 35 to 50 years old. Sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and Millennials, Generation X is often overlooked by media and marketers as a worthy target – instead focusing on upcoming Millennials and their future economic influence. Once considered too small in size to make an impact, Generation X is now almost 70 million strong and is the largest generation of consumers alive ages 21 to 65.

Homeownership: GenXers have followed the Baby Boomers in their love of homeownership but were temporarily stymied by the recession. Homeownership among all three GenX age is now well above 50 percent with 61.6 percent of 40 to 44 year olds owning a home and 68 percent of 45 to 49 year olds. With homeownership rates bouncing back, Generation X has dramatically increased furniture spending.

Furniture Expenditures: Last year saw a dramatic increase in furniture expenditures by GenXers according to the government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey. The heart of GenXers (ages 35 to 44) is spending the most on furniture of any consumer group averaging $672 annually. This survey reflects about 55 percent to 60 percent of furniture expenditures.

With the Baby Boomers aging out of prime buying years and the Millennials still pouring into adulthood, Generation X is the here now for the furniture industry. Industry leaders should keep their focus on this bread and butter generation that may just be the consumers that transition our industry toward real prosperity.

Generation X Might Not Be a Bust After All Children and Education

This is the third factoid in a series of four factoids focusing on Generation X. Historically named the “Baby Bust Generation,” babies born between 1966 and 1981 are now 35 to 50 years old. Sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and Millennials, Generation X is often overlooked by media and marketers as a worthy target – instead focusing on upcoming Millennials and their future economic influence. Once considered too small in size to make an impact, Generation X is now almost 70 million strong and is the largest generation of consumers alive ages 21 to 65.

These 35 to 50 year olds also have over 50 percent of the children under 18 – further extending their buying power. With homeownership rates up and furniture expenditures at their highest in years for ages 35 to 44, Generation X is poised to make a significant mark through over the next five years and beyond.

Children:  GenXers ages 35 to 50 are in their prime family purchasing years for both themselves and their families. Over half (52.9 percent) of children 65.7 million children under 18 reside in GenXer homes. Over 80 percent of those Generation X households are married couples.

Education:  GenXers are only slightly less educated than the younger Millennials with 35.7 percent attaining bachelor’s degrees or higher.  For 35 to 50 year old GenXers, 38 million have some college of higher degree. The final factoid in this series will detail homeownership and furniture expenditures among Generation X.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, America’s  Families and Living Arrangements, Current Population Survey

Generation X Might Not Be a Bust After All Household Median Income

This is the second factoid in a series of four factoids focusing on Generation X. Historically named the “Baby Bust Generation,” babies born between 1966 and 1981 are now 35 to 50 years old. Sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and Millennials, Generation X is often overlooked by media and marketers as a worthy target – instead focusing on upcoming Millennials and their future economic influence. Once considered too small in size to make an impact, Generation X is now almost 70 million strong and is the largest generation of consumers alive ages 21 to 65.

GenXers are in their prime earning years. As Baby Boomers retire more high paying jobs will open up to experienced and ready GenXers. In 2015, median income was the highest for Generation X 45 to 49 year olds at $76,095, followed by 40 to 44 year olds at $72,143. In addition, the youngest of the GenXers, the 35 to 39 year olds, had the fastest growing incomes last year with median income increasing 9.2 percent over the previous year. The next factoid focuses on the education and children of Generation X.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Generation X Might Not Be a Bust After All Population Comparison Among Generations

This is the first factoid in a series of four factoids focusing on Generation X. Historically named the “Baby Bust Generation,” babies born between 1966 and 1981 are now 35 to 50 years old. Sandwiched between the Baby Boomers and Millennials, Generation X is often overlooked by media and marketers as a worthy target – instead focusing on upcoming Millennials and their future economic influence. Once considered too small in size to make an impact, Generation X is now almost 70 million strong and is the largest generation of consumers alive ages 21 to 65.

At 69.8 million, GenXers trail behind both Millennials and Baby Boomers in size, but the current adult population of Generation X is higher than the Millennial’s 66 million as many are still under the age of 18. While GenXers are still smaller than the living Baby Boomers (74.9 million), they now have more buying power.

The population of the “Baby Bust Generation” is now much larger than originally projected due to immigration. With 58.5 million births between 1966 to 1981, Generation X has grown by almost 20 percent (19.3) in numbers. Although smaller in total population, GenXers are the largest adult consumer population at 37.5 percent of adults ages 21 to 65. The next factoid will focus on the income of Generation X as they enter their prime earning years.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Trends in New Home Building Multi-Story Houses and Outdoor Living

Trends in New Home Building  Multi-Story Houses and Outdoor Living

This is the fourth factoid in a series of six factoids detailing trends in new home building. New home purchases spur new home furnishings purchases like no other life event. As home building continues its slow but steady comeback from the recession, new trends in home building are emerging creating opportunity in many home furnishings product areas. According the new HUD report, single-family home building is up 23 percent since 2009 and for the first half of this year, new home completions are up 14 percent from the first half of 2015.

Trends include an increase in bigger multi-story homes with more bedrooms, baths, and multiple patios, porches and decks on increasingly smaller lots. Other trends point to the ballooning senior population downsizing to age-restricted communities with less interest in some design features such as fireplaces, but more interest in comfort features.

Multi-story new single family homes are on the rise with 63 percent built in 2015 versus 58 percent in 2009 . Partly due to declining lot sizes paired with desire for bigger homes, single-story houses were down to 37 percent of completions in 2015.

As outdoor living has become a major feature in many new homes, multiple porches, patios, and decks are trending for the larger homes– up to 46 percent in 2015 from 43 percent in 2010. The next factoid in this series will focus on laundry room placement, the number of fireplaces, and the presence of air conditioning in new home building.

*New single-family homes completed for sale

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Characteristics of New Single-Family Houses 2015”

Trends in New Home Building Laundry Rooms, Fireplaces, and Air-Conditioning Percent of Houses Built in Selected Years

This is the fifth factoid in a series of six factoids detailing trends in new home building. New home purchases spur new home furnishings purchases like no other life event. As home building continues its slow but steady comeback from the recession, new trends in home building are emerging creating opportunity in many home furnishings product areas. According the new HUD report, single-family home building is up 23 percent since 2009 and for the first half of this year, new home completions are up 14 percent from the first half of 2015.

Trends include an increase in bigger multi-story homes with more bedrooms, baths, and multiple patios, porches and decks on increasingly smaller lots. Other trends point to the ballooning senior population downsizing to age-restricted communities with less interest in some design features such as fireplaces, but more interest in comfort features.

As more new houses are being built with multiple stories, laundry rooms are moving out of basement and off the main floor and up to top floor (second floor).

In 2015, 29 percent new homes have top floor laundry rooms compared to 16 percent in 2009 – an increase of 81 percent.

A surprising trend especially given the increasing size of new homes is that fireplaces are becoming less important except in the Northeast. And while over half (51 percent) of the new homes being built still have fireplaces, this is down from 61 percent in 2002. In the Northeast fireplaces are still important – climbing from 62 percent of new homes in 2002 to 66 percent of in 2015.

Air conditioning is becoming the norm across the country with 94 percent of new homes built with AC in 2015 – up from 89 percent in 2002. The fastest increase in new houses built with air-conditioning has been in the Northwest and West – both jumping 10 percentage points from 2002 to 2015.

*New single-family homes completed for sale

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Characteristics of New Single-Family Houses 2015”

Trends in New Home Building

This is the final factoid in a series of six factoids detailing trends in new home building. New home purchases spur new home furnishings purchases like no other life event. As home building continues its slow but steady comeback from the recession, new trends in home building are emerging creating opportunity in many home furnishings product areas. According the new HUD report, single-family home building is up 23 percent since 2009 and for the first half of this year, new home completions are up 14 percent from the first half of 2015.

Trends include an increase in bigger multi-story homes with more bedrooms, baths, and multiple patios, porches and decks on increasingly smaller lots. Other trends point to the ballooning senior population downsizing to age-restricted communities with less interest in some design features such as fireplaces, but more interest in comfort features.

An important new trend in new home communities, especially in the South, is the increase in the number of age restricted developments (generally 55+). Although still less than 5 percent of new homes built in 2015, these neighborhoods have increased 54 percent from 2009 to 2015. The Midwest and South doubled construction in age restricted developments since 2009 while the Northeast declined 33.3 percent indicating seniors making this lifestyle move want to escape the colder climates. The West showed no growth. The growth in these age restricted communities may partially explain the decline in fireplaces in warmer climates as they become less important to seniors.

New single family houses are increasingly being built in communities with structured homeowners’ associations (HOAs), except in the Northeast. In total, new homes with HOAs jumped 11 percentage points from 2009 to 2015 – 62 percent to 73 percent. In the South these structured communities are especially important with 81 percent of new homes built in neighborhoods with an HOA. Meanwhile, in the Northeast in 2015, homes built in HOA communities represented only 40 percent of the region’s new construction.

*New single-family homes completed for sale

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Characteristics of New Single-Family Houses 2015”

Trends in New Home Building


This is the third factoid in a series of six factoids detailing trends in new home building. New home purchases spur new home furnishings purchases like no other life event. As home building continues its slow but steady comeback from the recession, new trends in home building are emerging creating opportunity in many home furnishings product areas. According the new HUD report, single-family home building is up 23 percent since 2009 and for the first half of this year, new home completions are up 14 percent from the first half of 2015.

Trends include an increase in bigger multi-story homes with more bedrooms, baths, and multiple patios, porches and decks on increasingly smaller lots. Other trends point to the ballooning senior population downsizing to age-restricted communities with less interest in some design features such as fireplaces, but more interest in comfort features.

As houses have increased in size, more bedrooms have become the norm. Over 53 percent of new single-family homes built in 2015 have four or more bedrooms – up from 38.2 percent in 2009. Three-bedroom homes, once the majority in new constructions, have decreased from 52.6 percent to 40.7 percent since the recession – a drop of 23 percent. Homes with more bedrooms create product opportunities, not only for bedroom furniture, but also home office or other alternative uses.

Along with more bedrooms, a big jump has occurred post recession in the number of bathrooms. The percentage of new homes with three baths or more grew by 105 percent – from 23.6 percent of new houses to 41.1 percent in six years. The next factoid in this series will focus on the number of stories and the increasing amounts of outdoor space. 

*New single-family homes completed for sale

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Characteristics of New Single-Family Houses 2015”

Trends in New Home Building Lot Size of New Single-Family Homes

This is the second factoid in a series of six factoids detailing trends in new home building. New home purchases spur new home furnishings purchases like no other life event. As home building continues its slow but steady comeback from the recession, new trends in home building are emerging creating opportunity in many home furnishings product areas. According the new HUD report, single-family home building is up 23 percent since 2009 and for the first half of this year, new home completions are up 14 percent from the first half of 2015.

Trends include an increase in multi-story homes with more bedrooms, baths, and multiple patios, porches and decks. Other trends point to the ballooning senior population downsizing to age-restricted communities with less interest in some design features such as fireplaces, but more interest in comfort features. Chief among the trends: Single-family homes are getting bigger – much bigger –  and lot sizes smaller.

While the median size of new homes grew 23.3 percent from 2000 to 2015, median lot size decreased 4.6 percent from 8,930 square feet to 8,521 square feet or about one-fifth of an acre. As of 2015, over half (58 percent) of new single-family home lot sizes are less than 9,000 square feet or just over one-fifth of an acre. Moreover, lot sizes (cluster homes) under 7,000 square feet increased to 36 percent of new homes built.

The next factoid in this series will focus on the increase of bedrooms and bathrooms in new single-family homes.

*New single-family homes completed for sale
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Characteristics of New Single-Family Houses 2015”

Industry Sales by Quarter 2009 Q3 to 2016 Q3 Bedding Industry

Industry Sales by Quarter 2009 Q3 to 2016 Q3 Bedding Industry

Third quarter is traditionally Bedding’s highest sales period. In keeping with its seasonality, 2016 Q3 rebounded 7.6 percent over the second quarter, but was up less than one percent (0.9 percent) compared to the same Q3 last year.  Third quarter sales totaled $3.8 billion.

Industry Growth Quarter to Quarter 2013 Q3 to 2016 Q3 Bedding Industry

The slow growth this year in the Bedding industry is reflected in the quarter-over-quarter increase from 2015 to 2016. Bedding sales in the third quarter this year were up only 0.9 percent quarter over quarter totaling $3.8 billion. However, compared to the second quarter, sales were up 7.6 percent.  Traditionally, third quarter is Bedding’s highest sales quarter.

Industry Sales 2008 to 2016 Q3 Bedding Industry

Third  quarter year-to-date Bedding sales totaled $10.73 billion, up only 2.1 percent from the same period last year.

Source:  Impact Consulting Services, Inc. industry model. 2016 Q1 and Q2 sales have been revised.

Industry Growth Quarter to Quarter 2013 Q3 to 2016 Q3 Furniture & Bedding

Industry Growth Quarter to Quarter 2013 Q3 to 2016 Q3  Furniture & Bedding

Industry sales are still growing, but at a slower pace, as shown by the chart above. For the third straight quarter, quarter-over-quarter industry performance  has slowed.

Third quarter combined Furniture and Bedding industry sales of $23.8 billion were a modest 1.7 percent improvement over the same Q3 in 2015. Compared to last quarter (2016 Q2) sales were flat.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) increased 1.8 percent in 2016 Q3 versus the same quarter last year with sales of $20.0 billion.

Bedding quarter-over-quarter sales totaled $3.8 billion, up only 0.9 percent over second quarter sales last year.

Industry Sales 2008 YE to 2016 Q3 Furniture & Bedding

Year-to-date industry sales in the third quarter of 2016 totaled $71.0 billion, an increase of 3.6 percent over the same period last year. 

Industry Sales by Quarter 2009 Q3 to 2016 Q3 Furniture & Bedding

Industry sales growth continued to slow in the third quarter to 1.7 percent growth compared to Q3 of last year and were flat compared to the second quarter of this year. Total furniture and bedding sales totaled $23.8 billion in Q3.

Year-to-date through the third quarter,  the industry grew at 3.65 percent.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) in the third quarter increased 1.8 percent compared to the same quarter last year totaling $20.0 billion. Compared to the second quarter of this year, furniture only sales are down 1.4 percent. Year-to-date furniture sales (excluding Bedding) are up 3.9 percent.

The Bedding industry also experienced a low 0.9 percent growth quarter to quarter and was but was up 7.6 percent compared to the second quarter of this year.  Sales totaled $3.8 billion in Q3. Year-to-date sales are up 2.1 percent.  (Note: Second quarter sales were revised upward.)

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