Skid Steer Loader Should See An Increase In Sales As U.s. Housing Sales Increase

Skid steer loader sales and their attachments may see a nice increase, if the U.S. housing market is any reflection of what skid loader owners can expect.

That is because there has been an increase in sales of both housing starts and previously owned homes in the first half of 2010. In fact, both categories are up sharply from the lows of April 2009, thanks to the new home owner tax credit. We are also seeing evidence of home prices increasing, after seeing the first year-over-year gain in three years this past February, an indicator that things may be stabilizing.

However, some experts are not so sure this increase is going to last. One financial blogger recently wrote that “the recent price run-up is a false dawn, and that prices will drop again now that the homebuyer tax credit has expired. But the bottom set last spring may well hold.”

So while this may mean that the expired tax credit will not help home sales, there may be another spike in both new housing starts and previously-owned home sales as prices drop again.

This means one of three things for the skid steer loader industry.

1. New skid steer loader sales will increase. That may make the most sense, but is not necessarily true. More homes being built means an increased demand for the versatile skid steer loader, as well as skid steer loader attachments. The rationale is that more new homes means contractors will have to expand their businesses in order to keep up with the demand. This would normally be true, but the downturn in the housing market for the last few years means that option #2 is probably more likely. . .

2. Sales in the used skid steer loader market will see an increase, while new skid loader sales stay relatively flat. When the housing market took a downturn for a couple years, not only did the demand for skid steer loaders drop, but there was an increase of used skid loaders hitting the market as contractors tightened their belts or went out of business completely. There was also a drop in new loader sales as credit tightened up and contractors were making their old machines last longer, rather than replacing them.

Even now, as housing sales are up, there is an understandable hesitancy in purchasing new equipment, as housing economists cannot agree whether the latest figures are a temporary blip on the radar, or the beginnings of recovery for the U.S. economy.

3. The sale of skid steer loader attachments will also increase. Regardless of whether it is new or skid steer loader sales that will increase, or even if sales in both areas stay flat, housing increases can only lead to an increase in sales of skid steer loader attachments.

That is because whether contractors are expanding their skid steer loader fleet, or whether they are making sure their old loaders can last another season, an increase in housing starts means the remaining contractors will need to handle more tasks on a job site.

Landscaping contractors may be called on to help prepare driveways, mow and grade new building lots, or pump out flooded basements and ditches. Building contractors may be asked to help transport building materials or even move landscaping materials for small landscaping contractors who do not own their own skid loader.

While the U.S. housing market is still fairly uncertain, and none of the housing economists can even agree on where to get lunch, let alone what the future will hold for the market, one thing is certain: contractors are being called on to do more and more projects outside their original niche. If the contractors want to continue to exist and survive any future downturns, they will continue to grow their capabilities by using different skid steer loader attachments to increase their services.