Slowdown? What slowdown!?
While the overall economy and market continue to waver, there’s one sector that’s holding strong: real estate.
Signed contracts for future home purchases rose in March. They’re currently up 7% compared to the same time last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. And home prices in the United States’ 20 largest cities were up 9.3% in February.
The trend has pushed homebuilding stocks to solid gains. The S&P Homebuilder Index (XHB) is up nearly 40% percent over the past 12 months – and almost 15% year-to-date.
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The uptick isn’t likely to stop any time soon, either.
According to Sam Coffin of UBS, “Housing sales numbers are continuing to trend up. In fact, if anything, realtors are saying they are looking at shortages of inventories of homes for sale. And at the same time, household formation is picking up, and that should continue to boost sales.”