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A Home Depot store in North Miami, Fla., on May 14, 2021.

Wilfredo Lee/The Associated Press

An overcharged housing market is keeping aisles full at Home Depot and the company reported sales that blew past Wall Street expectations Tuesday.

Sales hit $37.5-billion, up 32.7 per cent from the same year, far better than analyst projections of $34.88-billion, according to Zacks Investment Research Sales at stores open at least a year, a critical indicator of a retailer’s health, jumped 31 per cent. In the U.S., those sales rose 29.9 per cent.

“The number of people undertaking projects around the home continues to increase. There is a very clear pattern of investing in living spaces whether through full remodeling or partial decoration,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData.

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Home Depot’s profit nearly doubled, hitting $4.1-billion, or $3.86 per share. That compares with $2.2-billion, or $2.08 per share, a year ago. Wall Street expected $3.04 per share.

Home improvement stores have bustled during the pandemic with millions working and attending school remotely. Many families found that larger homes, or at least different homes, were a necessity. That has fueled sales at Home Depot.

Home Depot Inc. also updating its face mask policy, following the eased guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The home improvement retailer says customers and workers who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks or facial coverings in its stores, except where it’s mandated by state or local ordinances. Masks are still encouraged for those who aren’t fully vaccinated.

Shares climbed 2.1 per cent before the market opened.

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