Home construction sector exchange traded funds are perking up as homebuilder sentiment holds steady at a four month-low on fiscal concerns.
The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEArca: XHB) was up 0.2% Monday and iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (NYSEArca: ITB) rose 0.8%. Over the past month, XHB and ITB gained 7.0%. Year-to-date, XHB is up 18.3% while ITB is 7.4% higher. [Homebuilder ETFs: Accurate Predictors of Slack Data]
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index hovered at a 54 in November, and the October figure was downwardly revised to 54 from 55, reports Richard Leong for Reuters.
“Given the current interest rate and pricing environment, consumers continue to show interest in purchasing new homes, but are holding back because Congress keeps pushing critical decisions on budget, tax and government spending issues down the road,” NAHB chairman Rick Judson said.
Any reading above 50 indicates positive sentiment. The index has held above 50 for six straight months.
“The fact that builder confidence remains above 50 is an encouraging sign, considering the unresolved debt and federal budget issues cause builders and consumers to remain on the sideline,” NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said.
Rising construction costs, low appraisals and increased borrowing costs for home buyers have weighed on the homebuilders sector. [Lower Mortgage Rates to Buttress Homebuilder ETFs]