Another Month Down: 11 Takeaways for Home and Building

  • Categories:

    COVID-19 Response

  • Date:

    May 29, 2020

Another Month Down: 11 Takeaways for Home and Building



COVID-19 Response

On March 20, Wray Ward kicked off its weekly COVID-19 POV series with the words, “The immediate future is uncertain.” The truth in that statement? It’s one of the few things that hasn’t changed in 11 weeks.

The good news? As we approach June, the landscape is looking brighter than it has since the early days after the coronavirus officially became a pandemic on March 11. While brands continue to face complex challenges, consumer and business confidence are beginning to grow. The stock market rebound and increased activity in residential home sales and remodeling are just several of the positive signs we’re seeing right now.

Here’s a quick look at 11 developments influencing the home and building category (for a closer look, download a free copy of our latest weekly POV).

As of May 29:

  1. Some form of reopening has begun in 49 of 50 states (New Jersey is the lone exception).
  2. The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 2,123,000, down 323,000 from the previous week’s revised level. (Department of Labor)
  3. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index held steady in May following a sharp decline in April. The Index now stands at 86.6, up from 85.7 in April. (The Conference Board)
  4. After weakening in March, the volume of new home sales outperformed expectations in April (+1% vs. -22% projected). (NAHB)
  5. Mortgage applications to purchase a home posted gains for the sixth straight week and reached a 54% recovery since early April. (CNBC)
  6. Growing evidence suggests that households will seek more space for home offices, home gyms and other purposes, potentially resetting a four-year trend of shrinkage for new single-family homes. (NAHB)
  7. Contractor purchasing trends continue to improve, with only 8% of contractors reporting no purchases during the past two to three weeks. (The Farnsworth Group)
  8. Interior designers have rapidly figured out how to make current conditions work for them, with 51% stating the coronavirus has had no impact on their business. (Business of Home)
  9. Home improvement projects continue despite the pandemic. A survey of nearly 1,000 U.S. homeowners found that only 1% canceled an ongoing project. (Houzz)
  10. Walmart is an e-commerce winner, with sales expected to rise 44.2% this year. Meanwhile, the number of new customers using pickup and delivery options has quadrupled since the start of the pandemic. (eMarketer)
  11. Of all luxury sectors, the $4.5 trillion global wellness sector will benefit most from the pandemic reset. (Forbes)

As a reminder, on a weekly basis, Wray Ward will continue to publish timely information, trends and advice related to the coronavirus.*

If you have questions or want to discuss specific next steps for your brand, please feel free to contact me.

*All statistics as of May 29, 2020.

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