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The July Credit Suisse First Boston Monthly Survey of Real Estate Agents was made available on Friday for institutional clients and consultants on the survey. Presented monthly, this 60-page (or thereabouts) publication has been an extremely accurate and predictive document - my first choice when I begin pondering my monthly real estate strategy.

Almost always, I focus on the top fifty metro markets and regions, primarily interested in the pure statistics and opinions of "boots on the ground" agents and investors that make this such an excellent read. Another feature of this monthly survey lists agents recommendations for national builders. The percentage number is based upon positive less negative responses from agents. This is an important reflection on these builders, and thus their stock, as over 40% of new home sales involve a real estate agent.

Here is the list, best to least favored:


Pulte Homes (NYSE:PHM) 25.2%
Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) 24.7%
D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI) 17.6%
Meritage Homes (NYSE:MTH) 16.2%
Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) 14.3%
Centex Corporation (CTX) 11.7%
Ryland Group (NYSE:RYL) 11.4%
Standard Pacific Corporation (NYSE:SPF) 11.3%
Hovanian (NYSE:HOV) 6.1%
MDC Holdings (NYSE:MDC) 5.7%
NVR, Inc. (NYSE:NVR) 4.3%
WCI Communities (WCI) 0.1%
KB Home (NYSE:KBH) -12.9% (This is a mighty poor assessment on the product)

It is stated by the CSFB report that homebuilders are increasingly relying on agents as market conditions weaken or remain soft for new product.

One thing is for sure, new homebuilders had better improve the design, energy efficiency and internal efficiencies if they expert to compete with the foreclosure, short sale and resale markets.

Source: Credit Suisse First Boston Survey Reveals Real Estate Agent Builder Preference