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How to Profit from a Potential Housing Market Downdraft

By George Leong | Small Business

How to Profit from a Potential Housing Market Downdraft image Potential Housing Market DowndraftHow to Profit from a Potential Housing Market DowndraftThe housing market has had a nice run up over the past several years, but the party is beginning to fade.

Home prices continue to edge higher with a 12.8% jump in August, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index. While this seems positive, you also have to wonder if the housing market is headed for a bubble down the road as mortgage rates rise—and they will.

The chart of the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index below shows the currency recovery in home prices. The index is still far below the peak in 2006 and 2007, prior to the subprime blow-up. These were unrealistic levels. We saw downward moves in 2009 and 2012, but it has been clear sailing. Yet the problem is that much of the buying in the housing market was driven by institutional buying. Once this begins to fade as home prices rise, we could see a relapse in the housing market.

How to Profit from a Potential Housing Market Downdraft image SP Case Shiller Home Price Chart3S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

We saw a 5.6% decline in pending home sales in September. This metric is not considered as critical as the housing starts and building permits readings, but in my view, it’s a good indicator. In August, pending home sales slid 1.6%. We may be seeing a trend of lower demand for homes, which suggests there could be some issues on the horizon if pending home sales continue to be negative.

Existing home sales were also flat at 5.29 million units in September, down from 5.39 million units in August. Less people are buying homes, and this cannot be good for the homebuilder stocks.

What makes the situation in the housing market worse is that we are failing to see strong job creation. Without confidence and jobs, there will continue to be a tendency among consumers to not want to commit to a major purchase, such as a house.

I would be avoiding the homebuilder stocks at this time. The S&P Homebuilders Index is looking vulnerable, as shown in the chart below, based on my technical analysis.

How to Profit from a Potential Housing Market Downdraft image SPDR SP Homebuilders Index Chart3SPDR S&P Homebuilders Index Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

What I continue to like is the home building supplies companies. At the top is The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE/HD), which is the “Best of Breed” in this sector in my opinion.

In the small-cap area, take a look at the suppliers to the housing market. Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. (NASDAQ/BECN) is a stock that you should keep an eye on. The company supplies builders and roofing companies with roofing supplies.

This article How to Profit from a Potential Housing Market Downdraft was originally published at Investment Contrarians

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