A study by some at Harvard University showing that the United States has challenges when it comes to trying to reverse the housing slump is challenging exchange traded funds (ETFs) as well.

The record number of foreclosures and increasingly limited access to credit is going to make it tough for the U.S. housing market to recover, reports Lynn Adler for Reuters. The two-year slump is eating into housing wealth, curbing consumer spending and chipping away economic growth.

The study found that the new homebuilding and sales numbers rival the worst downturns in the post-World War II era.

Meanwhile, Saj Karsan for seeking Alpha took a look at the SPDRs S&P Homebuilders (XHB) and found that it’s actually a homebuilding/retail cocktail.

The fund invests in a large amount of retail and builders stocks, rather than real estate, as some investors may assume. It is also important to note that many builders and related companies are in a bit of turmoil at the moment. Surely you’ve noticed!

Retail exposure includes stocks such as Home Depot (HD), Lowe’s (LOW), and they equal around 10% of assets.

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