The Real Deal Miami

Home improvement retailers see positive signs

February 09, 2010 10:26AM

Following the news that Morgan Stanley upgraded Home Depot stocks, CNBC sat down with two hardline retail experts to discuss what potential gains in home improvement stocks say about the housing market recovery. According to Stephen Chick, managing director of hardline retail at FBR Capital Markets, lumber prices are beginning to rebound — having seen price increases over the last two to four months not matched since 2004, and that could be a positive, though often-underestimated indicator for housing. Michael Lasser, vice president and senior research analyst of hardline retail at Barclays Capital, pointed to an increased demand for appliances. Lasser said it’s too soon to tell whether indicators from stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot mean a full-fledged recovery, but retailers are certainly benefiting from higher transactional volume, stemming from more people moving to new homes and doing improvements and repairs.