The most important and basic statistics housing investors are interested in give the US home builders market a positive outlook. Home starts shot up 22% over last year, the US Dow Jones Home Construction ITB ETF is comfortably over 10% over last year, and a hint of excitement in the air as languishing mortgage rates may be bumped up by the feds later this year. In addition, pending home sales were up in almost every region in the country. Pundits also talk about the bad winter experienced the United States that kept buyers inside, and the fact that millennials are starting to reach the home-buying age of 30.
So why are housing stocks down on the three month charts?
If these factors, plus the relative strength in the US market marked by the consumer confidence index at 95, shouldn’t housing be soaring like it was in April? The answer is in quarterly reports. Investors got very excited about the prospects of housing, and were disappointed by the likes of financial statements of Pulte Group and Toll Brothers. Closings were rocked across the board by about 2%. Additionally, net incomes shark about 20% since last quarter. Aside from these slightly disturbing statistic, which executives blame on the miserable winter, most of the major housing stocks are still playing with great financial positions and a growing market. This sector will be very interesting watch this quarter. The construction is one of the earliest industries to recover after an economic turndown. As the US job market tightens and the US dollar rocks the world, housing is sure to follow. The question is quickly shifting from “if?” to “when?”