The landscape of landscaping is changing

The landscape of landscaping is changing

Expanding neighborhoods and aging communities are contributing to potential growth of the landscaping market.

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July 19, 2018
Ken Gibson

According to a report by IBISWorld, the lawn and outdoor equipment industry has recovered significantly over the past five years, because it’s been “bolstered by a revival in spending on home improvements.” Grand View Research says gardening is growing as a hobby thanks to “improvement in the social lifestyle of an increasing base of the affluent middle-class population.”

 Those proclamations sound good if you’re in the landscaping industry, but what would be better is if you had some cold, hard facts that prove that the market for landscaping products and services is growing. Here are a few pieces of evidence that show us that this market is growing.

 1.      Neighborhoods are getting larger in the South and so will the landscaping market.

According to data gathered by the US Census Bureau, the median sales price of houses in the South grew on average by 4.03 percent per-year in the period between 2008 and 2017, as opposed to the national average of 3.77 percent.

 

This chart shows building permits issued for single-family homes across the US, and as you can see, the South has been the predominant area for growth for at least the past two years.

 

More houses going up in the South is great news for the landscaping industry because clients and customers need yardwork year-round there. Competition will be tough, however. Lawn & Landscape reported that 38 percent of all landscaping service providers located in the US are in the South.

 

According to one of Zillow’s 2017 press releases, “the nation's fastest-growing home values have moved from the typical California markets to Southern markets in Florida, Texas and Tennessee.”

To drive the point home, here’s another chart, which shows a somewhat steep rise in the number of privately owned housing units that were completed in the South. One thing to keep in mind is that the houses being built in the region could lead to added customers for landscaping companies for generations to come, not just a short-term boost.

 

 

2. The increasing number of older Americans will add to demand for landscaping.

Lawn & Landscape’s 2017 State of the Industry report showed that “an aging population of Baby Boomer customers has been a major reason for increased business this past year,” for a landscape company in Topeka, Kansas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook for Grounds Maintenance Workers, “more workers will be needed to keep up with increasing demand for lawn care and landscaping services from aging or busy homeowners.” Their projection is that overall employment for grounds maintenance workers will grow from 1,309,300 workers in 2016 to 1,455,600 workers in 2026, or by 11 percent.

 The table below provides a snapshot of the US population’s aging trend. We looked at the percentage of the population who were 55 and older in Massachusetts, as well as the percentage of the population who were 65 and older in Pennsylvania. We based our calculations on census data. The percent increases aren’t staggering, but they do give a sense that the population is skewing more towards the older generations. It is more cogent when you take into account that these two states are not popular for retiring in.

 

Some people from older generations won’t immediately outsource their yardwork; they’ll instead find less onerous ways of doing it themselves. Many outdoor power equipment manufacturers are making electric and battery models of lawn mowers, trimmers, etc. that are lighter and safer to operate. Some companies are even coming out with robotic lawn mowers that can do the work themselves.

This demographic is growing in numbers, and as a whole has huge spending power. According to Immersion Active70 percent of the disposable income in the U.S. is controlled by Baby Boomers,” and they own “80 percent of all money in savings and loan associations.”

Of course, some older people will choose to move into nursing homes as the years go by, making their positive impact on the landscaping industry seem less significant. Nursing homes, however, need landscaping too, and there are plenty of them across the US, with more being built every year. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website, “over the past five years, 19 states have had an increase in the number of nursing homes.” SeniorAdvisor.com states that “over 1.4 million people in the United States currently receive long-term care in a nursing home… this number is expected to double by the year 2050.”

Since more and more folks are going over the hill, the demand for lawn maintenance will grow, as less homeowners will be able to perform the tasks themselves and more will be willing and able to pay for the service.

The author is a data analyst at Black In Technologies. For more information, please visit blackinktech.com and connect with @BlackInk_Tech on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.