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Recently, Calif.-based homebuilder, KB Home (KBH - Analyst Report), launched two communities – Katy Oaks Preserve and Katy Oaks Estates – in Katy, Texas. Homebuyers will be able to catch a glimpse of the model homes in these beautiful communities at the grand opening celebration to be held on Sep 28.

The Katy Oaks communities are located in the west Houston suburb of Katy and include a community park, pavilion, lake, walking trails and playground. The communities are easily accessible from the interstate highways, Grand Parkway and I-10.

Katy Oaks Preserve will offer nine single-storey as well as two-story floor plans to homebuyers with up to five bedrooms and three baths. It has open floor plans ranging from 1,836 to 3,204 square feet. The homes in the community are especially designed with spacious open rooms and are priced from $160,000 onward.

On the other hand, Katy Oaks Estates accommodate up to four bedrooms, three baths and a two-car garage. Priced at $200,000 and upwards, the homes have open floor plans ranging from 2,598 to 3,005 square feet.

All homes in these communities have ENERGY STAR certified appliances and WaterSense labeled fixtures which will help the consumers to significantly save on their monthly energy and water utility bills. The homes have been built with KB Homes’ Built to Order facility which allows the buyers to personalize their homes. Moreover, the closeness of KB Home Studio to these communities allows the buyers to take the help of the company experts while designing their homes.

The housing market has made a steady comeback from the lows witnessed in mid-2006 due to severe and widespread downturn. With the recent improvement in economic conditions and the housing market in general, mortgage/interest rates are edging upwards to more normalized levels since May. Though interest rates have started increasing lately, they are still below historical levels and housing is still affordable. Thus, high affordability levels, increased rentals and historically-low interest rates are driving the housing recovery.

In the recently reported third-quarter fiscal 2013, net orders declined 9% to 1,736 homes. We believe that the recent increase in interest/mortgage rates has slowed both order pace and traffic. However, management stated that the moderating order pace caused by a spike in mortgage interest rates was a temporary effect and demand should go up once consumers adjust to both higher rates and pricing.

KB Homes carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in the construction sector that are performing well and deserve a mention include Boise Cascade Co. (BCC - Snapshot Report), Standard Pacific Corp. (SPF - Snapshot Report) and The Ryland Group Inc. (RYL - Snapshot Report). While Boise Cascade has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Standard Pacific and Ryland Group carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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