Positive housing data has pointed to a recovering market, but S&P Capital IQ analysts provide a more staid outlook on homebuilder stocks and exchange traded funds.

“S&P Capital IQ has a negative fundamental outlook for the homebuilding sub-industry for the next 12 months,” writes Todd Rosenbluth, S&P Capital IQ ETF analyst, in a research note.

S&P Capital IQ equity analyst Michael Souers believes builders are in a stable competitive position after reducing costs, lowering debt and increasing cash. However, he thinks that rising foreclosure activity in 2013 could dampen home prices.

“We think the housing market will improve over the next year, but shy of consensus views for stronger growth,” the S&P analysts added.

The analysts also hold an underweight rating on the iShares DJ US Home Construction (NYSEArca: ITB). The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEArca: XHB) is another fund that targets the sub-sector.

On Monday, the National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales dipped 4.3% in December from November, signaling that sales on previously occupied homes may cool in the spring, USA Today reports. [Builder ETFs Slip After Pending Home Sales Miss]

“We believe the disappointment represents just a brief lull in what are volatile data rather than a fundamental change of direction,” Jim O’Sullivan, an economist at High Frequency Economics, said in the article.

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