coronavirus

Coronavirus quarantines made Americans want to spend on home improvement

As Americans sheltered in place this summer, home improvement retailers like Lowe’s Companies (LOW) and Sherwin-Williams (SHW) boasted lucrative summer sales

Americans splurged on home improvement during the pandemic because they “finally have the time” and are “adapting to a new lifestyle under COVID,” according to a survey of over 1,000 U.S. homeowners from July 7-9 by Porch, a Seattle-based home improvement website. 

“Who amongst us hasn’t sat around their home during this period and thought about how they could make it better? This is almost a universal experience at the moment,” HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List (ANGI) CEO Brandon Ridenour told Yahoo Finance last week.

One California-based service that matches contractors with consumers, Houzz, saw a 58% increase in requests for home professionals in June 2020, compared to June 2019. And private companies have echoed reports of a growing market. 

“Who amongst

Read More

Despite coronavirus pandemic, consumers still turned on by big-screen TVs

Even the coronavirus pandemic cannot sate Americans’ appetite for big TVs.

During the spring as state and local regulations across the U.S. recommended people stay at home, consumers purchased televisions at levels normally seen during the holiday season.

Some used the $1,200 government stimulus payments they were sent to buy a new TV, while others took funds originally targeted for vacations. 

Sales of TVs 65 inches and larger were up 53% (in units) over the first half of 2020, according to research firm The NPD Group. Especially big sellers were TVs bigger than 65 inches, which were up 77% in April-June, compared to a year ago.

With prices on 65-inch displays dropping, NPD had expected sales to be up this year, but were forecasted as about 20% higher than a year ago. The sales surge happened despite many workers being laid off and furloughed. 

Home Theater: Here’s the most exciting

Read More

Mixed Outlook for Retail Building Products Amid Coronavirus

The Building Products – Retail industry comprises U.S. home improvement retailers, manufactures of industrial and construction materials and distributors of wallboard and ceilings systems. Some of the industry participants also offer products and services for home decoration, repair and remodeling, and in-home delivery and installation services.

The industry players provide a wide array of products, ranging from cement or concrete foundation materials to roofing boards and shingles. The companies also sell lumber, insulation materials, drywall, plumbing fixtures, hard-surface flooring, lawn and garden, and decor products. Some players also deal in threaded fastener products, and manufactured and natural stone tiles. The industry players cater to professional homebuilders, sub-contractors, remodelers and consumers.

Let’s take a look at the industry’s three major themes:

  • The industry’s prospects remain closely tied to U.S. housing market conditions, and repair and remodeling (R&R) activity. The bleak near-term prospects of the housing market amid coronavirus-induced high unemployment and
Read More

Some homeowners struggled to pay PACE improvement loans. The coronavirus made it harder

It wasn’t until the work was done that Marcelino and Josefina Rodriguez said they learned the truth.

They had been signed up for a roughly $45,000 PACE home improvement loan at nearly 10% interest — even though they said a woman working with the contractor told them their new roof and water heater would be free through a government program.

The Rodriguezes contacted the authorities, but the nearly $4,500 annual bill came due anyway — a financial hit for the household of four who scraped by on less than $30,000 each year as garment workers paid by the piece.

If they didn’t pay, Marcelino, 67, and Josefina, 64, could lose the Pacoima home they’ve owned since 2001, one that provided them and their sons stability after years of bouncing from rental to rental. So to get by, they started selling food and one of their sons said he exhausted his

Read More