Home builder stocks in broad decline as Freddie Mac said housing market has ‘stalled’
Home builder stocks were broadly lower Monday, as mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac FMCC, +0.07% said the U.S. housing market had "essentially stalled." The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF ITB, -0.85% slumped 0.8% in morning trade, with 39 of its 47 equity components trading lower. Among the more active home builders, shares of PulteGroup Inc. PHM, -1.35% shed 1.2%, of D.R. Horton Inc. DHI, -0.34% gave up 0.5%, of Lennar Corp. LEN, -0.86% lost 0.8% and of Toll Brothers Inc. TOL, -1.23% fell 1.2%, while KB Home’s stock KBH, +1.18% climbed 1.5%. Elsewhere, shares of home improvement retailers Home Depot Inc. HD, -1.11% declined 0.8% and of Lowe’s Companies LOW, -1.59% dropped 1.0%. Freddie Mac said despite slightly improving inventory conditions and home price pressures, it now expects home sales in 2018 to be "just below" last years’s level. "The spring and summer home buying and selling season ultimately ended up being a letdown, despite a faster growing economy and healthy demand for buying a home," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater. "Unfortunately, too many would-be buyers continue to be tripped up by not enough affordable supply and the one-two punch of much higher home prices and mortgage rates." The home builder ETF has lost 16% year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.53% has gained 9.2%.
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