Lennar Corp Throws Another Save for the Trade On Home Builders

The Downgrade Zelman & Associates gut-punched home builder stocks with a major downgrade of the sector on June 10th. Zelman used a survey of builders to conclude that soaring housing prices are reducing demand. The survey also revealed “a fourth straight month of weaker-than-seasonal order activity in May”. (I have covered this dynamic as “normalization” … Read more

Normalization Places Fresh Pressures on the Spring Selling Season – Housing Market Review (May, 2021)

Housing Market Intro and Summary The Spring selling season looked like it started strong for new home sales. The data for April reveal a story evolving differently. Absolute inventories rose for both existing and new homes and yet sales declined. Housing starts also suffered a setback. Median prices of homes soared, especially for new homes, … Read more

A Strong Start to the Spring Selling Season for New Homes – Housing Market Review (April, 2021)

Housing Market Intro and Summary In March, home builder stocks pushed through softening housing data thanks in large part to builder-specific catalysts. In April, a series of strong earnings reports and a healthy rebound in the new homes market combined to propel most housing-related stocks higher still. The contrast between existing and new homes stood … Read more

Rising Mortgage Rates, Record High Lumber Prices Weigh On Home Builders

Mortgage rates are on the rise following record high lumber prices. Together, these measures are starting to weigh on the stocks of home builders. 30-Year Mortgage Rate The 30-Year fixed rate mortgage average in the United States hit 2.97% on Thursday, February 25th. Not only is this rate a 6-month high, but also the rise … Read more

Housing Market Evades the Pandemic Recession – Housing Market Review (August, 2020)

Housing Market Intro and Summary The pandemic recession is over as far as the housing market is concerned. The case for V-shaped recoveries was evident in the last Housing Market Review. The recovery completed in August with important new highs in existing and new home sales and in home builder sentiment. Ultra-low interest rates support … Read more

Toll Brothers: Strong Financials, Buybacks…and Housing Jitters

Toll Brothers (TOL) is more than halfway through reversing a surprising post-earnings gap up a week and a half ago. The 13.8% post-earnings gain surprised me because the message from TOL was little different than its messages in the past two earnings reports that have coincided with an extended sell-off in the stock. Source: FreeStockCharts.com … Read more

Lumber Futures Complete A 2018 Reversal

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) consistently complains about rising construction costs, so I have taken for granted that lumber prices remain an issue. Lumber futures actually peaked in mid-May after a tremendous 2018 breakout and run-up. The return back down was a lot faster than the ride up. Earlier this week, lumber futures … Read more

Canadian Dollar: Economic Data Overriding the Brakes of the Bank of Canada

The Canadian dollar (FXC) is at an interesting juncture. Strong economic data has strengthened the currency but the Bank of Canada (BoC) has applied brakes on currency’s rally. The Canadian dollar weakened in the wake of policy statements in October and December. The last word of 2017 went to the economic data as hot inflation … Read more

Housing Market Review – Lumber Issues Loom Over Another Series of Strong Data (April, 2017)

The last Housing Market Review covered data reported in March, 2017 for February, 2017. At that time, the iShares US Home Construction (ITB) was at the bottom of what turned out to be a very shallow pullback from a near 10-year high. The subsequent recovery has been grinding and slow, but ITB now trades above … Read more