Builders Start Projects at the Fastest Pace in 17 Months

U.S. builders (NYSE:XHB) spent slightly more on home construction from August September. Spending came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $787.2 billion, partially offsetting losses in public schools, roads, and government offices.

Americans bought fewer homes (NYSE:IYR) during this year’s peak buying season than at any time in the past half-century, and U.S. builders spent more for the second straight month. Though analysts say it could be four years before construction returns to healthy levels, home builders started projects in September at the fastest pace in 17 months.

However, most of the gain was driven by a surge in volatile apartment construction; as well public construction projects, which include schools, roads and government offices, fell 0.6 percent last month. More apartment construction and the fact that builders are struggling to compete with foreclosures and short sales — when lenders accept less for a house than a mortgage is worth, indicate that more are choosing to rent or purchase a previously built home. Those homes are selling at an average discount of 20 percent, and they are lowering neighboring home values.

“Economists at Moody’s Analytics say prices might stop falling by early next year. But they don’t expect a healthy recovery for housing until 2015 at the earliest,” according to Yahoo Finance.

Here’s how home building stocks are trading now:

  • Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE:TOL): The shares recently traded at $17.28, down $0.16, or 0.92%. Its market capitalization is $2.89 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $13.16 to $22.42. Volume today was 3,810,257 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 3,760,110 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 37.89, while trailing earnings are $0.46 per share. About the company: Toll Brothers, Inc. builds luxury homes, serving both move-up and empty nester buyers in several regions of the United States. The Company builds customized single and attached homes, primarily on land that it develops and improves. Toll Brothers also operates its own architectural, engineering, mortgage, title, security, landscape, insurance brokerage, and manufacturing operations. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE:BZH): The shares recently traded at $2.12, down $0.03, or 1.4%. Its market capitalization is $157.22 million. They have traded in a 52-week range of $1.35 to $6.23. Volume today was 1,725,435 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,700,880 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-3.02 per share. About the company: Beazer Homes USA, Inc. designs, builds, and sells single family homes in the Southeast, Southwest, and South Central regions of the United States. The Company’s homes are designed to appeal to entry-level and first move-up home buyers. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • DR Horton Inc. (NYSE:DHI): The shares recently traded at $11.10, down $0.03, or 0.27%. Its market capitalization is $3.51 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $8.03 to $13.50. Volume today was 7,400,533 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 7,702,830 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 1,009.09, while trailing earnings are $0.01 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.15 per share for a dividend yield of 1.30%. About the company: D.R. Horton, Inc. constructs and sells single-family homes designed primarily for the entry-level and move-up markets. The Company operates in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest, and Western regions of the United States. D.R. Horton also, through its financial services operations, provide mortgage financing and title agency services to homebuyers. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • KB Home (NYSE:KBH): The shares recently traded at $6.76, down $0.15, or 2.17%. Its market capitalization is $521.41 million. They have traded in a 52-week range of $5.02 to $16.11. Volume today was 3,800,038 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 4,568,170 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-2.27 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.25 per share for a dividend yield of 3.30%. About the company: KB HOME builds single-family homes in the United States, primarily targeting first-time and first move-up homebuyers. The Company has operating divisions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Wisconsin, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas in the United States. KB Home also derives income from mortgage banking, title and insurance services. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • Ryland Group Inc. (NYSE:RYL): The shares recently traded at $12.96, down $0.54, or 4%. Its market capitalization is $575.53 million. They have traded in a 52-week range of $9.15 to $19.28. Volume today was 1,596,183 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 1,590,270 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-1.59 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.12 per share for a dividend yield of 0.90%. About the company: The Ryland Group, Inc. is a homebuilder and mortgage-related finance firm. The Company’s homebuilding segment specializes in the sale and construction of single-family attached and detached housing. Ryland’s financial services segment provides various mortgage-related products and services for retail customers. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>

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