Nevertheless, Shiller argued that the rise in mortgage rates so far this year “not a big deal yet” and may even cause further short-term gains in house prices as new buyers lock in lower rates.
“I don’t know how people react to rising mortgage rates,” Shiller added. “One thought is they want to lock it in now. And that’s why we’ve had good home sales recently. And it might continue as mortgage rates rise. This thing could feed a boom. I’m not saying it will.”
ETF investors interested in the homebuilders category have a number of options available, including the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEArca: XHB), iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (NYSEArca: ITB) and PowerShares Dynamic Building & Construction Portfolio (NYSEArca: PKB).
The ETFs include exposure to other sub-sectors along with homebuilders. For instance, XHB, which more-or-less equally weights components, includes 34.0% building products, 29.7% homebuilding and 12.7% home furnishing among its top allocations.
ITB takes a more market cap-weighted approach with a larger tilt toward homebuilding, including 64.5% homebuilders, 14.6% building products and 9.2% home improvement retail.
PKB, on the other hand, takes a larger focus on consumer discretionary and materials companies.
For more information on the housing market, visit our homebuilders category.