Lifting homebuilder sector-related exchange traded funds, Lennar Corp (NYSE: LEN) shares jumped Wednesday after beating quarterly profit estimates on historically low mortgage rates and the migration toward suburban living.
Among the better performing areas of the market on Wednesday, the iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (NYSEArca: ITB) increased 3.4%, SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEArca: XHB) advanced 1.7%, Invesco Dynamic Building & Construction ETF (NYSEArca: PKB) was up 0.7%, and Hoya Capital Housing ETF (HOMZ) gained 0.8%.
Meanwhile, Lennar Corp shares surged 12.7% on Wednesday. LEN makes up 13.2% of ITB, 5.1% of PKB, and 4.5% of XHB.
The housing market has been a bright spot throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but the sector faces a slowdown as mortgage rates tick higher in recent weeks amid the sudden spike in U.S. Treasury yields.
Lennar projected second-quarter orders, an indicator of future sales, between 16,500 homes and 16,700 homes, compared to analysts’ expectations of 16,240 homes, partially due to a shortage of previously owned houses on the market, Reuters reports.
“A combination of still low interest rates, strong personal savings rates during the pandemic, strong stimulus from the government, and solid household formation continue to drive demand,” Executive Chairman Stuart Miller said.
The home construction company’s profit increased over two-fold over the first quarter to $1 billion, supported by a one-time infusion of $469.7 million from its investment in online real estate firm Opendoor Technologies, which went public in December.
Homebuilders are also shaking off a frigid winter with U.S. housing starts falling in February by more than expected due to harsh winter weather that impeded activity, Bloomberg reports.
Residential starts declined 10.3% last month to a 1.42 million annualized rate, the slowest since August, according to government data. In comparison, a median projection of surveyed economists called for a 1.56 million pace.
However, elevated construction permits and rising backlogs indicate momentum in homebuilding could pick up in the coming months.
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