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Thread: Home Builders

  1. Default Home Builders

    I'm starting this thread to discuss trading home builders.

    Disclosure: I'm long ITB, DHI, PHM but shorts are welcome to contribute if they have good data.

  2. Default

    I've done some digging into housing starts versus housing completions. I was initially intrigued by the fact that completions have outpaced starts since Mar '06. So I called the number listed on the web site that published the Commerce Departments numbers (http://www.census.gov/const/www/newresconstindex.html) and a very helpful person provided some perspective... housing starts outpace housing completions for extended periods during economic expansion. The person sent me a table of data going back to the 60s and sure enough, the periods when starts outpace completions can last for several years. For example, starts were consistently higher that completions from 1992 to 2006.

  3. Default

    I created a a chart plotting the numbers back to the 60s (see attached) and noticed a few interesting things.
    1/ Annualized housing start for June10 were 549,000. The average number of annualized housing starts since 1968 is 1,531,000. The US is building ~1 million less homes a year than it's 40+ year average.
    2/ After lagging completions since Mar '06, housing starts look primed to retake the lead. It appeared as if this the lines were going to cross in Mar '10 but the housing credit seems to have skewed results, probably due to home builders prioritizing completions to lock in sales before the housing credit expired.

  4. Default

    Taken in isolation, this would support a bullish case for builders (Disclosure: I'm long ITB, DHI, PHM).

    Apart from a spike in interest rates or unemployment, can anyone think of a good reason why starts might continue to lag completions in the next 6 to 12 months?


  5. Default

    can anyone think of a good reason why starts might continue to lag completions in the next 6 to 12 months?

    Yes, 1) the economy and 2) the lack of money from the lending instutions for potential home buyers.

 

 

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