As we head into the final quarter of 2010, we are reminded of the economic woes everyone faces as the country slowly emerges out of recession. But make no mistake, there are some bright spots on the horizon — specifically relating to the homebuilding and remodeling industry, which helps every other economic factor tick.

Our good friends at the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) are optimistic as well. A few key highlights from their latest report, released last week:

—With the home buyer tax credit expiring, many thought a drastic sales slowdown would take effect. However, while there was a lull in buyer demand at the end of the second quarter, there was no huge sales drop off.

—Low mortgage rates, stabilizing home values and demographic trends will keep the housing market moving forward.

—Nationally, single-family housing starts were virtually unchanged in June from the previous month and new-home sales posted a 23.6 percent gain in the same period. This suggests that single-family production and new-home sales may be coming back from an expected slow period that followed the end of the home buyer tax credit program.

From our point of view, this is definitely encouraging news. Directly tied to the housing market’s performance is consumer confidence, which is the key ingredient to us selling Thermador appliances. And with the stats pointing to a slow-but-steady recovery, we feel like there’s no better time to take on a major home-improvement project, such as a kitchen remodel that can instantly boost the appraised value of your home.

In fact, experts point to an 88 percent ROI on just a minor kitchen remodel. Another promising sign for our industry — studies show that remodelers focus on the kitchen 38 percent of the time vs. the bathroom, back yard or front yard.

To help homeowners, who continue to demand smart value in the current economy, we’ve ramped up our promotions programs. Just take a look at our ONE, TWO, FREE deal, offering by far the industry’s largest savings at up to $6,373 to make it easier to not only own a Thermador kitchen, but also boost home value. And we have plenty more programs in the works, set to roll out in the fourth quarter and well into 2011.

But in the end, the key ingredient for us is to continue making the most innovative kitchen appliances on the market. More than nine decades of innovation have propelled us along, and we see no reason why nine more decades and beyond won’t follow. So here’s to a promising fourth quarter and 2011.

–Zach Elkin, Director, Luxury Division, Thermador