almost 4 years ago • 2 mins
Home Depot has been a bit of a mess lately, sure, but with the home improvement retailer reporting better-than-expected profit this week, everything finally seems to be coming together 🔨
After a string of disappointing results, Home Depot’s fourth-quarter sales in existing stores came in 5% higher than a year ago. And while the dreaded coronavirus is causing most companies to cut their growth projections, the retailer actually increased its sales forecast for 2020. That could be because Home Depot’s shelves are well-stocked even with the epidemic impacting global supply chains. Or it could just be that the firm stands to benefit from travel-shy consumers who are shifting their spending toward home improvement 🤷♀️
Home Depot’s results were a difficult watch for Lowe’s, which on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter sales in existing stores that grew at half the pace of its arch-rival’s. So while Lowe’s has been trying to attract more online shoppers and professional home-builders lately, its own home improvement kick doesn’t seem to be paying off just yet.
Fresh data out this week showed home prices in the US increased 3.8% in December from a year earlier, up from November’s 3.5%. That’s good news for both Home Depot and Lowe’s: homeowners are more likely to spend on renovations when they see their property’s value on the rise. And if today’s mortgage rates stay low, those price gains could continue in 2020 and beyond 🏘
The residential housing market may be hot, but one private equity titan has its eyes on another housing market entirely: Blackstone agreed to buy UK student accommodation company iQ for $6 billion on Wednesday – Britain’s largest-ever private real estate deal. The firm’s betting big on the growing student market in the UK, but it might also be trying to bag a bargain before real estate prices – which are on the rise again following the UK's departure from the European Union – climb too high.
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