SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB) - NYSEARCA
  • Jun. 9, 2014, 12:58 PM
    • Those who say it is a good time to sell a house increased to 43%, a new all-time high, says Fannie Mae (FNMA -0.4%) in its May National Housing Survey. Those who say it's a good time to buy dipped a bit to 68%.
    • "Consumers’ lukewarm income expectations and reticence about the economy seem to be holding back housing demand," says Fannie chief economist Doug Duncan. "This year’s spring and summer home buying season has gotten off to a slow start, even as mortgage rates have trended lower over the past two months ... The rebound in home sales will likely be too modest to pull sales for all of 2014 ahead of last year."
    • Speaking to Duncan's remarks: Those who say their household income is significantly higher than a year ago fell four points to 21%.
    • Homebuilder ETFs: XHB, ITB, PKB
    | Jun. 9, 2014, 12:58 PM | 9 Comments
  • Jun. 6, 2014, 4:17 PM
    | Jun. 6, 2014, 4:17 PM | 2 Comments
  • May 29, 2014, 10:09 AM
    • The Spring housing bounce hasn't quite arrived as Pending Home Sales only edged higher in April, the 0.4% gain falling short of estimates of 1%. On a Y/Y basis, the Pending Home Sales Index of 97.8 is lower by 9.2%.
    • Up nicely in opening action, the ITB gives back some of those gains, now ahead by 0.3%.
    • Full report
    • Other ETFs: XHB, PKB
    • Previously: Pending Home Sales rises 0.4%
    | May 29, 2014, 10:09 AM | 6 Comments
  • May 28, 2014, 3:01 PM
    • Jay McCanless and Annie Worthman at Sterne Agee say without the benefit of a lower tax rate other non-operating boosts, Toll Brothers (TOL +2.1%) would have missed the team's EPS estimate of $0.31 per share. They continue to rate the stock an Underperform with $28 price target.
    • The bullish team at MKM Partners note Toll "essentially raised" guidance by boosting the low end of its average expected sale price this year to $690K from $675K. "Given the company’s long build cycle, we suspect that the higher guidance is likely more of a statement on the anticipated mix of closings rather than a signal that prices are being raised more aggressively."
    • Amid the big gain by Toll and sharply lower interest rates, some other builders: Hovnanian (HOV +1.7%), Beazer Homes (BZH +1.4%), KB Home (KBH +0.8%), Lennar (LEN +0.2%), PulteGroup (PHM), D.R. Horton (DHI +1.2%).
    • ETFs: XHB, ITB, PKB
    • Previously: High home prices boost Toll results
    • Previously: Toll Brothers beats by $0.09, beats on revenue
    | May 28, 2014, 3:01 PM | 1 Comment
  • May 23, 2014, 4:15 PM
    | May 23, 2014, 4:15 PM
  • May 23, 2014, 10:08 AM
    • New single-family home sales of 433K in April were 6.4% above the revised March rate of 407K (originally reported as just 384K), but 4.2% lower than a year ago. The confidence (or lack thereof) level on any one month of reading is plus or minus 15.9%.
    • The median sales price of $275.8K is down 1.3% Y/Y.
    • The supply of homes on the market is 5.3 months at the current sales rate, down from 5.6 months in March.
    • Full report
    • ITB +1.1%, XHB +0.9%
    | May 23, 2014, 10:08 AM | 4 Comments
  • May 22, 2014, 10:20 AM
    • April marks the first gain in existing home sales this year, according to the NAR, with the seasonally-adjusted annualized rate rising 1.3% to 4.65M. On a year-over-year basis existing home sales are down 6.8%, and the group's Lawrence Yun allows that annual home sales in 2014 will be lower than last year.
    • Housing inventory of 2.29M homes gained 16% in April and represents a 5.9 month supply at the current sales pace, up from 5.1 months in March.
    • The median price of $201,700 is up 5.2% Y/Y.
    • First-time buyers represent just 29% of all buyers (the same as a year ago), and all-cash sales made up 32% of all transactions (also flat Y/Y).
    • Regions: Northeast down 6.3% Y/Y to 600K, Midwest down 9.6% to 1.03M, South -3.5% to 1.94M, West -10% to 1.08M
    • Full report
    • ETFs: XHB, ITB, PKB
    | May 22, 2014, 10:20 AM | 9 Comments
  • May 16, 2014, 8:46 AM
    • Overall housing starts of 1.072M were 13.2% higher than March's revised level of 947K and 26.4% above the one year ago level. Single-family starts of 649K edged up from March's level of 644K. Multi-family starts of 413K accounted for 39% of all starts - the highest level in about 40 years.
    • Overall building permits of 1.08M grew 8% from March and were 3.8% higher than a year ago. Single-family permits of 602K were essentially unchanged from March's 600K. Multi-family permits were 453K.
    • Full report
    • The 10-year Treasury yield briefly jumped a couple of basis points on the print, but is back to unchanged on the session at 2.50%.
    • ETFs: XHB, ITB, PKB
    • Previously: Housing Starts
    | May 16, 2014, 8:46 AM | 5 Comments
  • May 8, 2014, 10:11 AM
    • The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage drops to 4.21%, the lowest rate since November and down from 4.29% a week ago, according to Freddie Mac's latest weekly report.
    • The average rate for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage falls to 3.32% from 3.38% in the prior week.
    • A year ago, the respective 30- and 15-year rates were 3.42% and 2.61%.
    • "Mortgage rates continued moving down following the decline in 10-year Treasury yields after a dismal report on real GDP growth in the first quarter," according to Freddie chief economist Frank Nothaft.
    • ETFs: XHB, ITB, PKB
    | May 8, 2014, 10:11 AM
  • May 5, 2014, 12:57 PM
    • "Single-family housing is over-believed and overrated," says Jeff Gundlach at the Ira Sohn Conference. What strength there is or was in housing, he says, came from all-cash transactions (much of it institutional money). "This is not exactly indicative of the organic growth in the market from a real buyer’s perspective.”
    • New homes sales: "Remarkably weak ... flat on their back just as they were at the depths of the recession."
    • Affordability: If it's so great, why did last year's interest rate rise hit sales in such a large way?
    • Wind down of the GSEs: Who knows how this plays out, but it's almost certainly going to result in higher mortgage rates.
    • "The kids are not alright," he says, and the exit of first-time home buyers is a secular trend thanks to high unemployment and high student debt levels. "Young people were shocked and scarred by the financial crisis ... [renting is] massively  more appealing."
    • Related ETFs: XHB, ITB, PKB
    • Earlier Sohn coverage
    | May 5, 2014, 12:57 PM | 8 Comments
  • May 2, 2014, 4:18 PM
    | May 2, 2014, 4:18 PM
  • May 1, 2014, 3:03 PM
    • Similar to most other homebuilders, M.D.C. Holdings (MDC +3.8%) and Beazer Homes (BZH +4.2%) both reported sizable drops in order and closings volume for the quarter ended March 31, but also showed boosts in average sales prices more than offsetting the volume declines.
    • Amid difficult credit and construction cost issues, as well as tough competition for building lots, homebuilders have been focusing on higher prices, but at some point the loss of customers will be too great.
    • Given that, D.R. Horton's (DHI +2.2%) introduction of Express Homes "targeted at the true entry level buyer" will be an experiment worth paying attention to. Getting young buyers to compromise on location and buy a relatively inexpensive home is one thing, but getting them past the high barrier today to get a mortgage will be another.
    • Previously: M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. beats by $0.14, misses on revenue
    • Previously: More on Beazer FQ2: Net loss narrows but selling season starts slowly
    • ITB +0.7%, XHB +0.7%
    | May 1, 2014, 3:03 PM
  • Apr. 25, 2014, 4:43 AM
    • The amount that lenders originated in mortgage loans plunged 58% on year Q1 to a 14-year low of $235B, almost entirely due to drop in refinancing. The figures are from industry newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance.
    • Loans for acquisitions were flat on year and lower than in Q4.
    • The trend is the latest indication that increasing interest rates are hampering the housing recovery. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.5% last week, up from 3.6% in May last year, when rates spiked after the Fed indicated it would scale back its QE program.
    | Apr. 25, 2014, 4:43 AM | 9 Comments
  • Apr. 24, 2014, 1:21 PM
    • The iShares DJ U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB +2.7%) gains as earnings roll in from D.R. Horton, PulteGroup, Ryland, and M/I Homes. While PulteGroup saw slowdowns in closings and new orders, but offsetting increases in prices, D.R. Horton reported sales, new orders, and prices all on the rise. DHI is ahead 8%, Pulte 3%, Ryland (RYL +2.2%), M/I Homes (MHO +5.9%).
    • The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB +1.2%) is more of a homebuilding supply play.
    • Other builders: NVR (NVR +3.4%), Lennar (LEN +3.5%) Standard Pacific (SPF +2.8%), M.D.C. Holdings (MDC +3.2%), Hovnanian (HOV +2.5%), Toll Bros (TOL +4.2%).
    | Apr. 24, 2014, 1:21 PM
  • Apr. 23, 2014, 10:19 AM
    • The seasonally adjusted new home sales pace of 384K in March is 14.5% below that of February and 13.3% lower than a year ago. It's the slowest pace since July, and 14.5% is the 3rd-largest decline in 20 years. The median sales price of $290K is up 12.6% Y/Y. The supply of new homes on the market is 6 months at the current sales pace, up from 5 months in February.
    • Homebuilder ETFs: ITB -1.7%, XHB -1.2%.
    • Toll Brothers (TOL -1.6%), Lennar (LEN -1.9%), Hovnanian (HOV -1.5%), Pulte (PHM -1.6%), KB Home (KBH -3.3%), Beazer (BZH -2.4%), Ryland (RYL -2.6%)
    • The 10-year Treasury yield dips two basis points to 2.69%. TLT +0.4%, TBT -0.8%
    • Full report
    | Apr. 23, 2014, 10:19 AM | 19 Comments
  • Apr. 22, 2014, 3:54 PM
    • United Technologies (UTX +0.9%) CFO Greg Hayes says Q1's 19% Y/Y rise in orders for the company's Carrier heating and cooling systems - despite the harsh winter weather conditions - suggests growing strength in the U.S. housing market.
    • Hayes says Carrier's residential business historically has proven a reliable indicator about the state of the U.S. housing market; in 2007, Carrier's sliding sales foreshadowed the coming housing bust, but "here it is 2014 and it's going the other way, so we feel pretty good about the U.S. economy."
    • Sterne Agee likes what it saw in UTX's Q1 results, reiterating its Buy rating, while RBC Capital calls the quarter a good start on the way toward improved growth through the year.
    • Homebuilder ETFs: ITB, XHB
    | Apr. 22, 2014, 3:54 PM
XHB Description
The SPDR® S&P® Homebuilders ETF, before expenses, seeks to closely match the returns and characteristics of the S&P Homebuilders Select IndustryTM Index. Our approach is designed to provide portfolios with low portfolio turnover, accurate tracking, and lower costs.
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