Home Builders & New Residential Construction Report For March
Home builders have outperformed the market over the last year but are fading on relatively weak new housing data. Lennar (LEN), the strongest homebuilder is up nearly 41 percent over the last year. Toll Brothers (TOL) is up 13 percent and PulteGroup (PNH) is up 8 percent.
Today at 8:30EST, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for March 2012.
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 747,000. This is 4.5 percent above the revised February rate of 715,000 and is 30.1 percent above the March 2011 estimate of 574,000. Privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000. This is 5.8 percent below the revised February estimate of 694,000, but is 10.3 percent above the March 2011 rate of 593,000. Privately-owned housing completions in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 600,000. This is 4.2 percent above the revised February estimate of 576,000 and is 0.5 percent above the March 2011 rate of 597,000.
The subpar housing data matches the weak revenue for the builders. You can see below that home builders have had a tough time growing revenues and remain well below their pre-crisis levels. A more significant housing recovery is needed to get the home builders on more solid ground.