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Hope for home in 2010


Okay, the housing market in most parts of the country is still awful, but there are indications that this spring will see improvements in sales of existing homes. That’s good news for Target and its long-suffering home goods category, which benefits from turnover in the housing market as new occupants tend to remodel and refresh existing homes through the purchase of window treatments, rugs, lighting, table top and other decor items.

“We continue to be encouraged by the improvement in the monthly housing data and we have a cautiously optimistic outlook for the housing market in 2010, although soft underlying demand and elevated foreclose activity remain concerns,” according to Citigroup analyst Deborah Weinswig who follows the home improvement retailers and discounters.

One of the most positive indicators is the fact that sales of existing homes spiked 21.2% in October followed by a 42.1% increase in November of last year as buyers took advantage of record low rates and a first time buyer incentive of $8000.  With interest rates still low and the first time buyer incentive program extended and broadened to include other buyers expectations are high that sale of existing and new homes will benefit this spring and that is welcome new for Target home good business even if the outlook for the second half of 2010 is less clear and the federal government can’t offer tax incentives indefinitely.

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