One of the more intriguing trends to emerge form the pandemic is folks who are heading out of densely populated cities and into the suburbs. With more big city companies embracing remote work and folks concerned with how quickly COVID-19 spread in heavily congested residences including senior living facilities, cruise ships, and metropolitan high-rises, the suburbs are no longer a punchline for soccer dads and commuter moms.
I went over a few stocks to play the new suburbanization trend, and I followed that with a couple more. I could write about the companies that will cash in on this trend for ages, so let me give you a larger shopping list. Here are 18 stocks that I think will benefit from folks moving into the 'burbs, broken up into categories.
Moving into the suburbs to get more square footage, privacy, and bang for your buck isn't as easy as seeing how many vacancies there are in a large apartment complex. There's a research process that may start as wishful daydreaming but eventually cements into finding that dream house. If you're living in a big city and find yourself exploring nearby markets you're probably spending a lot of time on Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) (NASDAQ:ZS) and Redfin (NASDAQ:RDFN).
Zillow and Redfin started as entirely different companies. Zillow canvassed the country as a leading online real estate portal that would gobble up several smaller niche players. Redfin's roots were as a next-gen tech-savvy discount broker with a presence in select markets. However, now that both companies are flipping houses themselves as well as championing the online house price discovery process, they are starting points for the migration process.
Folks looking to rent in the suburbs will probably run into Invitation Homes (NYSE:INVH) and American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE:AMH). They have a heavy suburban focus in buying and then leasing out homes. Invitation Homes is the market leader with 79,256 homes available at the end of June. American Homes 4 Rent's portfolio is 53,000 properties strong. There's power in scalability, with occupancy levels consistently north of 95%, and even in a recession their collections are running just a couple of percentage points behind their historical averages.
Folks moving out of their studio or one-bedroom apartments into larger digs will soon find out that there's a lot of space to flesh out. There are a lot of home improvement projects to undertake. Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) are the two leading home improvement retailers. From appliances to lighting to paint, moving into the suburbs will mean a couple of trips -- in-person usually but online also works these days -- to Home Depot or Lowe's.
There are plenty of stock ideas in personalizing a new home, but I'll stick to the literal ground-floor opportunity here. Lumber Liquidators (NYSE:LL) is a leading provider of discounted flooring. Lumber Liquidators can't help you if you're looking for carpeting, but if hardwood, laminate, or tile is needed, it's a good place to be if you want a specialist. Having a porch and/or backyard may initially be a novelty for folks moving out of a high-rise, and eventually you're going to want to expand that living space. Trex (NYSE:TREX) is the leading player in wood-alternative decking, materials that look like wood but last a lot longer and with easier maintenance. Analysts were surprised to see sales growing in its latest quarter, but it's not a shock to see interest in decks with folks spending more time at home. Imagine how well Trex is going to do once the city slickers start moving into the suburbs.
Let's play house
More space also means more furniture and fixings. Wayfair (NYSE:W) has been one of the market's biggest winners since the March market downturn, a whopping 14-bagger since its mid-March low. Wayfair is an online marketplace for furniture, standing out for its free shipping and augmented reality tool where it can virtually place one of its items into the room you want it to go to see if it's a good fit. Revenue soared 84% in its latest quarter.
Taking a deeper dive into a couple of specialists, Lovesac (NASDAQ:LOVE) and Sleep Number (NASDAQ:SNBR) are two more companies that will cash in on the big moves. Lovesac sells premium bean bags that can fit an entire young family on its biggest models. It also sells modular sectionals that can be reconfigured in countless ways. Sleep Number is all about getting a good night's sleep. Moving out of an apartment into a home means that you have more room for a larger mattress, and Sleep Number's air-chambered beds allow folks to adjust firmness settings on the fly.
Working from home means a few tweaks to your lifestyle, and some of them are for the better. You may miss the gym at your office or apartment building, and you probably won't be able to walk to the nearest fitness center or spinning class like you did back in the city. Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON) has become a hot proxy for the real in-gym workout experience with its connected stationary bikes and treadmills. Peloton membership has nearly doubled over the past year, as the growing community enjoys live and on-demand workouts with a lot of pageantry but none of the fuss of traditional fitness sessions.
Working from home is naturally possible for the masses through Zoom (NASDAQ:ZM), and one of the biggest market winners through the pandemic is going to keep moving as more people work, learn, and meet from the comfort of home. Realtors are also big on "Zoom rooms" as a selling point for suburban homes, and that brings us to RingCentral (NYSE:RNG) and Logitech (NASDAQ:LOGI).
Companies pay RingCentral at least $19.99 per employee to use the cloud-based platform that automatically reroutes inbound calls. It makes it seem as if the call is reaching you at the office but it's actually going to whatever phone, mobile device, or PC you're using at the moment. Logitech is all about your Zoom room. Logitech is a leading make of PC and laptop accessories. Revenue is accelerating in 2020 as shoppers snap up Logitech's webcams, headsets, wireless mouse controllers, and tablet keyboards.
Moving from a small place in a big city to a big place in a small city does change things. Renter insurance becomes a homeowner policy if you're buying, and that's where Lemonade (NYSE:LMND) is more than happy to cheer on your move. The fast-growing provider of property insurance sells mostly renter policies that average $150 a year, but that pops to an average of $900 a year for homeowner policies. The recent IPO is a hit with young customers, and its members has nearly doubled to 729,325 over the past year.
You probably didn't need a car in New York City or Chicago, but you're going to need to get around in the suburbs. Carvana (NYSE:CVNA) is another company that like Lemonade is growing quickly as it disrupts its stodgy industry. Carvana's turf is used cars, and the online retailer's collection is widening as it keeps gaining traction for its customer-friendly practices and next-gen tech.
Working from home and living away from a metropolis means that grabbing breakfast, lunch, or dinner is no longer about heading to the office break room or walking to the many nearby eateries. Uber's (NYSE:UBER) fastest growing business these days is Uber Eats. The third-party delivery service has seen its business more than double over the past year. Its flagship personal mobility platform will also come in handy the next time that you or someone in your home needs to get somewhere when a car isn't around.
I can keep going. There are a lot more than 18 stocks positioned well to cash in on the suburbanization trend. However, just live moving into a larger space the real fun is exploring all of that on your own.