Hardware and garden store sales increased by 12.8 percent as consumers remodel their homes
Consumer spending at building, hardware and garden stores increased 12.8 percent year-over-year (YoY) in August, according to the Visa Retail Spending Monitor, which reports spending on all forms of payment. The U.S. housing supply is keeping some prospective home buyers at bay, with housing stock up only 5.9 percent over the last 10 years, compared to an 8 percent uptick in the U.S. population. Many consumers are opting to remodel their homes rather than wait for the elusive housing market to pick up—a boon for building, hardware and garden sales. (The August data reflects minimal increased building as a result of the recent hurricanes, since Hurricane Harvey happened at the very end of August and Irma followed in September.)
The tight housing market is also driving up home prices. With prices increasing at a faster pace than household incomes, some consumers are finding it difficult to afford a new home. As a result, boomers are staying in their homes longer and remodeling, while many first-time home buyers are purchasing fixer-uppers. This was the case last year as well, when millennials’ credit spending at building, hardware and garden stores grew 23 percent YoY in 2016, more than double overall growth in the category.