Homebuilders Hopeful

Housing activity has been somewhat muted given a dearth of inventories, but the lack of available existing supply has been positive for homebuilders. The NAHB’s monthly survey of homebuilder sentiment moved higher in July for its seventh straight monthly gain. Even after the rebound, the current level of 56 represents just a 13-month high and is below the range of readings from the few years prior to the pandemic and historic readings in two years before the pandemic.

The improvement in the headline index was primarily driven by increases in present sales and traffic. Geographically, the Midwest and South saw some modest softening in sentiment whereas the West and Northeast were much more impressive. The Northeast in particular saw an 8-point jump which ranks in the top decile of all monthly moves on record and brings the index into the top quartile of historical readings.

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Although homebuilder sentiment has been rebounding solidly, it pales in comparison to the strength of homebuilder stocks. Proxied by the iShares US Home Construction ETF (ITB), homebuilders have continued to set new 52-week highs on a near-daily basis. The ETF has now risen 56% over the past year and has continuously traded in overbought territory (currently extremely overbought with a price more than 2 standard deviations above its 50-DMA).

Homebuilder earnings are also on deck in the next couple of weeks. Below, we show a screenshot from the Earnings Explorer function of our Custom Portfolios. As shown, all but three S&P 1500 Homebuilders are due to report through the first week of August. Of those, a vast majority have averaged positive moves on earnings.

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Disclaimer: Bespoke Investment Group, LLC believes all information contained in this report to be accurate, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. None of the information in this report or any ...

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