Housing Downturn: Optimism Races Ahead of the Data – Housing Market Review (April, 2020)

The iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction Index (ITB) gained 4.2% and closed at a 2-month high.

Housing Market Intro and Summary Something surprising is happening in the middle of the current downturn in the housing market: buyers keep coming and home builders are staying resilient and resolute. A series of earnings reports from publicly traded home builders do not reflect the historic plunge in builder sentiment from April (see below). The … Read more

Mortgage Forbearance Programs Help Support Housing Prices

In a press release titled “‘No Lump Sum Required at the End of Forbearance’ says FHFA’s Calabria” the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sought to reassure home owners that they will not risk defaulting on their homes coming out of a mortgage forbearance program. The forbearance program gives home owners relief from paying their mortgage … Read more

Housing Market Review (October, 2019) – Home Builders Wavering At the Edge of the Moment of Truth

Housing Market Intro/Summary The stocks of home builders are starting to fail their moment of truth. A Moment of Truth Looming Ever Larger On October 25th, the iShares Dow Jones Home Construction ETF (ITB) hit a 21-month high that coincided exactly with a major multi-year peak and post-recession high from January, 2018. The sellers showed … Read more

Pulte Homes Earnings Q3 2019: Mostly Solid But Not (Yet) Actionable

Pulte Homes (PHM) rallied nearly straight up for almost three months. A post-earnings acceleration ended as quickly as it started.

Overall Assessment I am neutral on Pulte Homes (PHM). The company’s Q3 2019 earnings report was good but not spectacular. I am warily eyeing year-over-year net income and earnings per share declines even as the company experiences robust demand and buys back shares. Most importantly, with a 2.0 price/book ratio, PHM is relatively expensive compared … Read more

A Show of Confidence: PulteGroup Reloads Buyback As Stock Hits Key Tests

Despite the seasonal trends working against PulteGroup (PHM), the company last week announced a major reload on its buyback program. PulteGroup increased its authorization from $262M to $762M. The quote in the press release emphasized how this action, along with other investments, expresses the company’s solid confidence in the business and the housing market: “Driven … Read more

Pulte Homes: Staying Confident Despite Challenging Operating Conditions

Pulte Homes (PHM) reported Q3 2018 earnings on October 23rd. The stock responded favorably with a 7.3% one-day gain. That same day, the S&P 500 (SPY) gapped down and sold off for four more trading days. The index now sits at a near 7-month low while PHM is holding an impressive 24.1% total post-earnings gain. … Read more

Why Home Builders Are Off to A Relatively Strong Start In 2015

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on January 9, 2015. Click here to read the entire piece.) It is still very early in the new year, but I cannot help notice the relative strength exhibited by iShares Trust – iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) and several major … Read more

Homebuilder Price Performance Diverges in 2013 As Shorts Continue An Uneven Retreat

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on May 5, 2013. Click here to read the entire piece.) In late November, 2012, I made a list of my homebuilder picks for 2013. I combined valuation, price changes, and short interest to build the list. Almost 6 months later, it … Read more

Time to Hedge A Little As Homebuilders Surge to Multi-Year Milestones

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on August 19, 2012. Click here to read the entire piece.) In 2010, the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) rallied sharply only to peak in parabolic fashion in April. That Fall, I reaffirmed my belief that housing would bounce along the bottom … Read more