Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Play the Housing ‘Boom’

Housing boom? Not yet, but anybody who plays the stock market knows, you get in before the boom, not during it.

That is why the stocks of the home builders [XHB  25.08   0.46  (+1.87%)  ] are up triple digits from a year ago, as housing starts slowly rise from the ashes. But investors, if they believe in this recovery, should be looking beyond the builders to the more than 30 sectors that benefit directly from housing

First, however, we have to decide if the boom is really coming, and more to the point, if the recovery is really here.

“I just don’t see the reason to call this yet a major turning point,” said Robert Shiller, one of the creators of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. “Is this urgent? Should you buy right away? I just don’t see the urgency.” 

Shiller is increasingly in the minority.

“If [housing] is pushed down far enough and long enough, as it was in the post-2008 housing depression, it will eventually snap back to levels that exceed historical norms,” wrote Roger Altman, the former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary and current Chairman of Evercore, in the Financial Times, arguing that a ‘new housing boom’ is already upon us. “That turn in the market is occurring now and it should become a boom by 2015.”

Altman cites, among many compelling statistics, a Barclays report claiming home prices will exceed their 2006 peak by 2015.

If you believe in the boom theory, then you really want to take a look at this chart from John Burns Real Estate Consulting analyst Rick Palacios, Jr.: 

“Stock market investors are clearly betting on a bright future for residential real estate, turning their attention to ancillary companies that will benefit from the trickle down nature of a true recovery. In fact, the early stages of a housing rebound have played out in similar fashion over the last 40+ years, this one included,” notes Palacios.

So if you’re taken by that 176% jump in wallboard, then you want to put your money in USG [USG  21.50   0.44  (+2.09%)  ] and Eagle Materials [EXP  48.18   0.78  (+1.65%)  ] . If the 124 percent jump in flooring strikes you, then head to Lumber Liquidators [LL  49.77   1.63  (+3.39%)  ] and Armstrong World Industries [AWI  47.73   1.53  (+3.31%)  ] . The kitchen and bath play works for Caesarstone [CSTE  14.52   -0.48  (-3.2%)  ] , which makes countertops and backsplashes. Equipment rentals also have plenty of room to grow, and that’s H&E Equipment [HEES  13.07   0.25  (+1.95%)  ] .

Even more interesting are the non-pure plays, or companies you don’t expect. For example, those that are big into land; they’re up 56 percent, so look to the St. Joe Company [JOE  19.202   0.002  (+0.01%)  ] , Howard Hughes Corp [HHC  70.38   -0.04  (-0.06%)  ] and Forestar Group [FOR  16.61   0.10  (+0.61%)  ] . Or take a real outlier in the mortgage space, like Ellie Mae Inc [ELLI  27.39   0.82  (+3.09%)  ] . They went public last year, and the stock is up 405 percent year-over-year.

They provide electronic mortgage origination in the U.S., according to Palacios, and their mortgage management software handles 20 percent of all U.S. mortgage originations.

We also know that historically there is a big pickup in demand for trucks and heavy duty equipment during housing recoveries. 

What makes them run? Axles.
American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings [AXL  11.79    0.04  (+0.34%)   ] is the play there. Its stock is up 35 percent from last year. The company designs, engineers, and manufactures driveline systems for light trucks and sport-utility vehicles. The Company produces axles, propeller shafts, chassis components, and forged products. 

The opportunities for profit from recovery, be it slow and measured or fast and furious, are real and already in the making. Investors just need to decide if they believe in this recovery yet or not.  By: Diana Olick CNBC Real Estate Reporter

The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the authors and those providing comments or external internet links are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of First Capital, we make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current, suitability, or validity of this information and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. Any information provided does not constitute an offer or a solicitation to lend. Providing information to purchase does not guarantee a loan approval. All registered trademarks, copyright, images, or other items used are property of their respective owner and are used for editorial purposes only.
First Capital Mortgage is a subsidiary of PHH Home Loans LLC, a direct lender, Dept. of Corporations file #413-0713 NMLS#4256

Visit FirstCapital Online or call: 310-458-0010

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.