Hardwood floor and carpet stores closed for the third straight month, the worst start to a year since the recession began, according to a report from the National Association of Home Builders.
Hardwood sales fell 12.7% to $1,011.5 million in March, marking the worst month for a season for hardwood floors since the financial crisis began in 2008.
A year earlier, in February, hardwood sales rose by 6.4%.
The NABB said hardwood floor sales fell for the fifth consecutive month, as the recession deepened and new buyers fled the industry.
The NABBs survey showed sales in the U.S. rose by 4.6% in March.
Hardwood floor retailers have been the target of a major push by retailers such as Home Depot Inc., Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. as consumers look for more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly options to purchase their furniture.
Walmart and Home Depot both have increased their prices for hardwoods to $9.99 a square foot or more, which makes it more cost effective to purchase a floor that is higher quality.
The NabB’s survey showed that hardwood demand in the home was on a “slowing down” trend, with demand in large cities and states including New York, Los Angeles and Boston declining, according a separate report.
In cities and suburbs, demand has been declining, the NABs report showed.
In March, the U and Australian governments announced a $10 billion package of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the construction industry, which could see the industry’s profits plummet by as much as 35% to the point that it could cause the financial impact of the financial system to decline, according the Nabbs report.