HVAC & Plumbing Contractors

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 260,000 HVAC and plumbing contractors in the US provide installation, repair, and maintenance services for air handling and water management systems. Just over 60% of HVAC and plumbing contractors are solo operators. Contractors may specialize in residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial service.

Dependence On Construction Industry

Demand for HVAC and plumbing services is highly dependent on trends in the construction industry.

Increasing Sophistication Of HVAC Systems

Demand for improved efficiency in the non-residential market has led to increasingly complex HVAC systems and automated monitoring programs.

Industry size & Structure

The average plumbing and HVAC contractor employs 11 workers and generates about $2 million in annual revenue.

    • The HVAC and plumbing contractor industry consists of 260,000 companies (including solo operators), employs more than 1.1 million workers and generates $218 billion annually.
    • Just over 60% of HVAC and plumbing contractors are solo operators and generate about $64,700 annually.
    • Major customer segments include single family homes (20% of industry business), office buildings (10%), manufacturing and industrial buildings (5%), educational buildings (8%), commercial buildings (7%), health care and institutional buildings (6%), and apartment buildings (4%).
    • Large companies include EMCOR Group, Comfort Systems USA, Johnson Controls, and ARS Rescue Rooter.
                                Industry Forecast
                                HVAC & Plumbing Contractors Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Mar 16, 2023 - Banking Jitters Push Mortgage Rates Lower
                                • Mortgage rates dipped slightly after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, but housing industry watchers are uncertain if lower rates will persist long enough to provide much relief from the affordability issues that have slowed the US housing market, according to Yahoo Finance. Some financial market watchers note that the banking sector's jitters could slow the Federal Reserve’s strategy of taming inflation with rate hikes. Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather told Yahoo Finance, “There's still a lot of uncertainty but in the near term, I do expect mortgage rates to drop. And I expect buyers to take advantage of those mortgage rates because we've seen buyers be incredibly sensitive to those interest rates.” However, some industry insiders suggest that rates would need to drop and stay low for a sustained period to lure more buyers into the market.
                                • Tight existing home inventories are pushing buyers into the new home market, which helped move home builder confidence higher in March, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Home builder sentiment, as measured by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), rose two points to 44 in March 2022 2022, although the HMI remained in bearish territory. Any HMI reading over 50 indicates more builders see conditions as good than poor. While stress in the US financial system pushed mortgage interest rates down, affordability is still a significant roadblock to homeownership for many. The NAHB said a side effect of the increased pressure on regional banks will be a further tightening of acquisition, development, and construction (AD&C) loans for home builders.
                                • Multifamily developer confidence improved in the fourth quarter of 2022 but remained in negative territory, according to February’s Multifamily Market Survey (MMS) report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Multifamily Production Index (MPI) rose two percentage points in Q4 to 34 compared to the third quarter of 2022. The Multifamily Occupancy Index increased by four points to 49 over the same period. An MPI or MOI reading of 50 or more indicates that multifamily production or occupancy, respectively, is growing. While multifamily housing demand is robust, supply is catching up with demand in some markets. The NAHB expects multifamily production will slow significantly over the next two years after rapid growth in 2022. Developers face several challenges, including high regulatory costs, difficulty securing new project financing, and high interest rates.
                                • US shipment volume of central air conditioners decreased 24.2% year over year in January 2023, according to a report released in March by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). Shipments of air-source heat pumps fell 13.4% in January compared to a year earlier. Shipments of most other types of HVAC and water heating equipment saw year-over-year gains in January, including commercial electric storage water heaters (up 62.3%), commercial gas storage water heaters (+37.4%), residential electric storage water heaters (+4.2%), and residential gas storage water heaters (+1.1%). January shipments of gas warm air furnaces dropped 16.5% year over year, and oil warm air furnace shipments were down 7.3%.
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