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ETFs & Stocks to Ride on a Booming Housing Market

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Amid unstable economic growth, the housing market is booming on ultra-low mortgage rates, which is fueling demand for homes. This is especially true as mortgage rates fell to another record low last week, marking the 13th time this year.

According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 2.72% for the week ending Nov 19, from 2.84% the week before and 3.66% a year ago. This is the lowest level in nearly 50 years of the mortgage giant's survey. Record-low mortgage rates are encouraging people to buy more homes and have made refinance cheaper. This trend is likely to continue at least this year on the Fed’s easy money policy.

Additionally, the stay-at-home culture due to the pandemic has resulted in high demand for big homes, as buyers now want specific spaces for working, schooling and exercising at home. Further, the post-pandemic world has led to a demographic shift with millenials being the largest emerging homebuyers. Per the National Association of Realtors, around 38% of today's home buyers are millenials.

As such, homebuilder confidence has been soaring. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index has jumped to new highs this month. Additionally, U.S. new home construction in October rose at the fastest pace since February while building permits remained at the highest level since March 2007. New home sales have climbed nearly 17% so far this year (read: Can Solid Confidence & Rally in Housing ETFs Last Ahead?).  

Moreover, homebuilders are currently well placed, belonging to a top-ranked Zacks industry (placed at the top 4% of 250+ industries), suggesting a solid outlook. However, the solid momentum could slow going forward as the resurgence in COVID-19 infections has dampened economic recovery. Additionally, labor shortage, rising construction costs and high unemployment remain the causes of concern. Further, with a vaccine development and the resultant increase in mortgage rates, the housing market could see some sluggishness.

Given this, investors should tap the booming housing market with the following ETFs & stocks:

iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB - Free Report)

This fund provides exposure to U.S. companies that manufacture residential homes by tracking the Dow Jones U.S. Select Home Construction Index. With AUM of $2.1 billion, it holds a basket of 46 stocks with a heavy concentration on the top two firms. The product charges 42 bps in annual fees and trades in heavy volume of around 3.7 million shares a day on average. It has surged 27.2% so far this year and carries a Zack ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a Medium risk outlook (read: Tap Homebuilding ETFs on Upbeat Earnings & Vaccine Hopes).

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB - Free Report)

This ETF provides exposure to homebuilders with well-diversified exposure across building products, home furnishings, home improvement retail, home furnishing retail and household appliances. It is the most-popular option in the homebuilding space with AUM of $1.4 billion and an average daily volume of 3.1 million shares. The product charges 35 bps in annual fees and has gained 25.8% so far this year. It has a Zack ETF Rank #3 with a High risk outlook.

Invesco Dynamic Building & Construction ETF (PKB - Free Report)

This fund follows the Dynamic Building & Construction Intellidex Index, holding 30 well-diversified stocks in its basket. It has amassed assets worth $155.7 million and sees a lower volume of roughly 30,000 shares per day on average. Expense ratio comes in at 0.59%. PKB is up 19.6% so far this year and has a Zack ETF Rank #3 with a High risk outlook (see: all the Industrial ETFs here).

Hoya Capital Housing ETF (HOMZ - Free Report)

This ETF invests in 100 domestic companies involved in the housing industry, including residential REITs, homebuilders, home improvement companies, and real estate services and technology firms by tracking the Hoya Capital Housing 100 Index. It has accumulated $38.3 million in its asset base and charges 30 bps in annual fees. The product trades in an average daily volume of 8,000 shares and has added 11.2% this year. It has a Zack ETF Rank #3.

Century Communities Inc. (CCS - Free Report)

It is a home building and construction company. Its activities comprise land acquisition, development, and entitlements; and the acquisition, development, construction, marketing, and sale of various single-family detached and attached residential home projects. The stock has gained 61.3% so far this year and has a market cap of $1.5 billion. It has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and a VGM Score of B. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Meritage Homes Corporation (MTH - Free Report)

It is one of the leading designers and builders of single-family homes. The company is primarily engaged in building and selling single-family homes for entry-level, first-time, move-up, luxury and active adult buyers in historically high-growth regions of the United States. With a market cap of $3.4 billion, the stock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and a VGM Score of A. It has soared nearly 49% so far this year.

Lennar Corporation (LEN - Free Report)

This company is engaged in homebuilding and financial services in the United States. It has a market cap of $23.9 billion and has gained about 37% this year. Lennar has a Zacks Rank #2 and a VGM Score of B.

PulteGroup Inc. (PHM - Free Report)

This company is also engaged in homebuilding and financial services businesses, primarily in the United States. With a market cap of $11.7 billion, it has a Zacks Rank #1 and a VGM Score of B. PulteGroup is up 12.7% this year.

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