Positive Market Report Sends Housing Stocks Soaring

December 30, 2011

Good news spread Thursday for home builders, home improvement companies, and mortgage lenders, as stocks ticked up after the National Association of REALTORS® released a new report showing that pending home sales in November reached their highest level in a year-and-a-half. 

Pending home sales — a gauge for the future of the market — increased 7.3 percent in November to a reading of 100.1, NAR reported in its index. (A reading of 100 is considered healthy for the real estate market.) 

Analysts are predicting that 2012 will mark a turnaround for the real estate market, after years of a drastic slowdown in activity. 

Stocks inched up on Thursday for several home builders. For example, Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., saw the biggest rise in shares following Thursday’s report, with shares increasing 9 cents, or nearly 7 percent, to trade at $1.39. Also, homebuilders D.R. Horton Inc. saw shares rise 45 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $12.65; Lennar Corp. added 77 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $19.75; and PulteGroup Inc. gained 28 cents, or 4.8 percent, to $6.24, the Associated Press reported. 

Also, mortgage companies also saw an increase to their stocks. For example, Bank of America shares increased 11 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $5.40 on Thursday while Huntington increased 16 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $5.63; and Wells Fargo shares jumped 55 cents, or 2 percent, to $27.66.

Source: “Housing Stocks Up on Pending Sales Report,” Associated Press (Dec. 29, 2011)

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