Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More on the Housing Starts 6.7%* Increase

Below are some posts from homebuilding related news stories from December. The stories are from the Yahoo homebuilding sector web page.

First -- in December both Hovnanian and Toll Brothers predicted a bottoming in the housing market. It's important to remember that CEOs are media savvy. In other words, they may be saying this hoping it comes true, or with an eye to maybe influencing the market in some way.

However ...

Construction spending dropped 1% in October.

The overall drop was driven by a 1.9 percent decline in private residential construction and a 1.5 percent drop in private construction. October saw the sixth straight dip in private construction.

Toll Brothers predicts a drop in 2007 profit:

Toll Brothers the luxury home builder, said next year fiscal year's profit may fall 62% but also said it may be seeing a floor in some markets where deposits and traffic, although erratic from week to week, seem to be dancing on the bottom or slightly above.

Toll Brothers current earnings drop 44%

Luxury home builder Toll Brothers Inc.'s fourth-quarter earnings fell 44 percent, but the company said it sees some signs of stabilization in the slumping housing sector and raised its forecast for first-quarter home deliveries.

Realtors predict a drop in sales in 2007

Next year will likely bring a second annual decline in existing home sales, the National Association of Realtors predicted Monday.

Sales of existing homes are expected to decline 8.6 percent to 6.47 million for 2006 and contract another 1 percent to 6.40 million units next year.

Hovnanian reports 4th quarter loss:

Homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. reported Monday that it swung to a loss in fourth quarter, beset by a downturn in the housing market that has also plagued competitors.

After paying preferred stock dividends, the company reported a quarterly loss of $117.9 million, or $1.88 per share for the quarter that ended Oct. 31. That compared to a profit $165.4 million, or $2.53 per share, for the same period a year ago.

Let's add to inventory now. Times are great!