One effect of the coronavirus has been strengthening the demand for housing. The crisis has pulled forward demand. People are leaving the cities for suburbs, and anyone who was considering making this move in the next few years has decided to do so now. Before this, the housing market was already strong due to the Millennials maturing and entering peak-buying years, low mortgage rates, and low housing supply.
All the increases are in place for home prices to rise significantly in the coming months.
Here are four stocks that will rise as home prices increase:
Redfin is a high-tech real estate brokerage that will benefit from increased activity in the real estate market. Millennials and Generation Z are much more likely to do the bulk of their home research and shopping online. Redfin also has lower fees than traditional real-estate operations.
One characteristic of recent, big winners in the stock market has been high growth and high margins. Redfin's revenue is growing 73%, and it has 17% margins. Like other "platform" stocks, once it's become an integral part of the real estate buying process, it has several paths to monetization which is more meaningful for big-ticket items.
Another coronavirus-inspired trend is that people will spend more money on upgrading their living quarters rather than traveling to exotic locations. Azek is a beneficiary of this trend as the company provides material for outdoor living spaces and furniture. When home prices rise, people are more likely to upgrade their homes by building decks.
It also makes environmentally sustainable products that are catnip for Millennials. Its stock is at the intersection of the ESG, outdoor living, and real estate bull market trends. The company recently IPO'd this week and has had a strong debut so far.
Mattresses are a cyclical industry that is also connected to the housing cycle. It will also benefit from people spending less money on travel and more on upgrading their in-home experience. When people buy new homes, they also tend to get new mattresses.
Sleep Number has impressive gross margins and is regarded as an innovative company that makes a "smart bed" that automatically adjusts the bed's elevation and firmness. In the first quarter, despite the shutdowns closing 80% of its locations, it still grew revenues by 11% compared to the first quarter of 2019.
Radian sells mortgage insurance. In an environment of rising home prices, it's less likely that the company will have to pay out on these policies. Over the last seven years, the stock has been mostly range-bound between $15 and $20. However, its EBITDA has doubled, pushing its price to earnings ratio to the mid-single-digits.
This combination of compressed prices, low valuation, and positive catalysts in the form of rising home prices has the potential to lead to a sustained breakout in Radian's stock.