Homebuilder Group Lowers Starts Forecast After Rate Jump
Comment of the Day

October 14 2013

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Homebuilder Group Lowers Starts Forecast After Rate Jump

This article by John Gittelsohn for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section
New single-family home starts will climb to about 1.16 million by 2015, according to the homebuilder group. That’s about 93 percent of “normal,” said Robert Dent, the NAHB’s assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis. Housing starts fell to a low annual pace of 353,000 in March 2009 after peaking at 1.82 million in January 2006.

The U.S. should produce about 1.7 million new homes and apartments per year to provide for population growth and replace obsolete residences, Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics Inc., said during the conference call.

“Going forward, we’re going to be in an environment of undersupplied markets,” Zandi said

Eoin Treacy's view The USA’s housing market crash forced the administration to introduce extraordinarily accommodative measures which saw mortgage rates decrease to historic lows. The homebuilding sector tends to be sensitive to the interest rate environment and peaked well ahead of the interest cycle in 2007. It bottomed in late 2008 and moved into a three and a half year base before breaking out in February 2012.

Following an impressive rally, the majority of shares encountered resistance from May as Treasury yields rose and most have since pulled back below their respective 200-day MAs. Lennar Homes might be considered representative of the group. The share has experienced its largest reaction in a number of years and appears to be building support above $30. It will need to hold above that level if the benefit of the doubt is to be given to potential for higher to lateral ranging.

While a very different market, UK homebuilders have tended to mirror the performance of the US sector. (Also see Comment of the Day on June 10th.) The majority of the sector posted large upward dynamics from the region of their MAs last week and sustained moves below their trend means would be required to question potential for some additional upside. Persimmon is representative of the sector

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