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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: D.R. Horton, Toll Brothers, Lennar, PulteGroup and KB Home



    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: D.R. Horton, Toll Brothers, Lennar,
                            PulteGroup and KB Home

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Aug. 20, 2013

CHICAGO, Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI-Free
Report), Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL-Free Report), Lennar Corporation
(NYSE:LEN-Free Report), PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM-Free Report) and KB Home
(NYSE:KBH-Free Report).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101027/ZIRLOGO)

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Builder Confidence Rises in August

Homebuilders' confidence rose for the fourth consecutive month in August
despite rising interest rates, recording the strongest increase in almost
eight years.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index
(HMI), known as the homebuilder sentiment index, jumped three points to 59 in
August from 56 in July.

The index reflects improved sales expectations backed by an increase in both
the demand for and prices of new homes. Any reading on this index above 50
indicates that an increasing number of builders view the market conditions as
good than poor. Of the three index components, current sales increased three
points while future sales expectations went up one point. However, buyer
traffic remained unchanged.

Stocks of homebuilders like D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI-Free Report), Toll
Brothers (NYSE:TOL-Free Report), Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN-Free Report),
PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM-Free Report) and KB Home (NYSE:KBH-Free Report)
rose on the encouraging data.

The jump in the index shows that the recent interest/mortgage rate hikes have
not dampened the housing recovery much. According to the Freddie Mac mortgage
survey, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate has risen from 3.59% on May 23 to
4.40% on Aug 15. High interest rates decrease demand for new homes as mortgage
loans become expensive, thus lowering a buyer's purchasing power.

Though interest rates have started increasing, they are still below historical
levels and housing is still very much affordable. Thus, high affordability
levels, increased rentals and historically-low interest rates are driving the
housing momentum. In addition, accelerating job growth and increasing consumer
confidence are boosting demand for new homes.

Supply however remains limited by low home inventories, both for new and
existing homes. A shortage of land and labor is restricting the production of
homes, both single and multi-family. Home prices have thus started moving up
with market demand gaining momentum and supply remaining limited. In fact, the
rising home prices and thinning home inventories have created a sense of
urgency among homebuyers who are now more anxious to buy a house before prices
shoot up further.

However, the housing momentum seen in 2012 and in the first half of 2013 seems
to have slowed down somewhat with the recent spike in mortgage rates, tight
credit availability and limited supply of land and labor.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of
the Day pick for free.

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