Customers loading a cart with lumber at the Cumberland Parkway Home Depot in Atlanta last year. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
The retail industry, in general, has been sluggish at best. Home Depot has been among the exceptions.
When people are buying and moving into new homes, they spend money to make improvements. When people want to buff up the homes they are staying in, they spend money on repairs and renovations.
Home Depot does not think the uptick in mortgage rates – and the expect trajectory upward – will significantly hurt sales, Tome said. Houses are, on average, affordable and a modest bump in the mortgage rates will not change that.
So after the devastating recession, the long, steady upswing of the economy and housing market has dramatically bettered Home Depot’s financial positions. As equity in a home grows, so does the incentive to spend money improving it.
“Housing is a good asset class – and people invest in their homes,” Tome said.
Home sales lately have been a little soft in many regions, especially metro Atlanta, with many people staying put, but that only adds to the reasons for spending money on renovations and repairs, she said.
About 65 percent of American homes are more than 30 years old, according to Home Depot.
In metro Atlanta, Home Depot has 62 stores and about 20,000 employees.
Shares of Home Depot stock closed at $186.71 a share on Tuesday, down 26 cents.
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