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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Home Depot has been a proxy for the white-hot housing market.

What's going on: The company rode the coattails of the pandemic building boom — and just gave us a hint that it hasn't slowed down.

A fresh data point illuminates the boom: U.S. home prices soared in December at the fastest pace in six years — the latest sign of strong demand.

Details: Home Depot said Tuesday vinyl flooring, appliances and moldings drove sales at the end of last year.

  • Sales for DIY projects continued at a breakneck pace.
  • Professional builders' purchases of housing supplies jumped the most since the pandemic began.

Catch up quick: Home demand has soared, but supply is still tight — sending prices soaring.

  • Builders are racing to keep up with the demand for new homes.
  • Borrowing rates plummeted when the pandemic hit, enticing locked-down residents to seek out bigger or different homes.

The other side: As people spent more time in their homes, they put extra cash in them too, fueling a home-improvement frenzy.

What they're saying: "It took us 19 years ... to get the first $20 billion in total sales," but sales jumped by more than that in one year alone, Home Depot CEO Craig Menear told analysts today.

Go deeper

Feb 22, 2021 - Axios Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay's housing market has yet to cool off in 2021

Photo courtesy of Lauren Crowley at Sarasota Land and Homes LLC

The hot housing market has yet to cool off in 2021, with record home value growth in January, according to Zillow’s latest Market Report.

What's next: Zillow economists expect national home values to grow 10.1% in the next year. Existing home sales are expected to reach 7 million nationally in 2021, 24.8% more than in 2020.

18 mins ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.