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Renting Preferred Over Buying: Industrial ETFs in Focus

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Recent times have seen a shift in U.S. housing market sentiments as renting is being preferred over buying. As per research conducted by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty, in 16 out of 23 major metropolitan cities, renting has outperformed ownership. These cities include Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle. It is still better to buy than rent in much of the Midwest and Northeast, with Chicago and Cleveland showing the best ownership scores (see all Industrials ETFs here).

The monthly costs for purchasing and maintaining a self-occupied house is up by 14% over the past year, this is greater than three times the annual increase in rent rates nationally. Going by the trends, renting and reinvesting the received proceeds will lead to more wealth creation than maintaining a self-purchased home.

Housing prices have started to escalate as the new developments are slowing down and there is a short supply of existing homes. As per the July home and rent prices, the numbers went against ownership as ownership in only 35% of the counties were comparatively cheaper.

U.S. housing markets were skewed toward rent last time in June 1999. A total reversal happened in January 2010 when the housing markets were bent on the ownership segment. Existing home-sales fell for the fourth-consecutive month in July to their lowest level in two years as per a report published in August (read: Manufacturing Activity Hits 14-Year High: 3 ETFs in Focus).

The restrictions on immigration and tariffs on imported lumber have increased the cost of production as it is difficult for builders to find the necessary labor and materials complete construction in a cost effective way. As per the National Association of Home Builders, the expensive cost of construction is a more burning issue in the hot urban markets where land is costly and zoning can be restrictive.

San Francisco and Miami have experienced a sharp rise in housing prices because of the falling inventory of new housing stock. The Great Recession had a severe impact on the other markets like Detroit which haven’t been able to make up for the losses suffered (read: Coca-Cola to Acquire Costa Coffee: Consumer Staples ETFs in Focus).

Foreclosures have started increasing for the first time since 2015. This numbers are alike for the hurricane-hit cities like Houston and expensive ones like Los Angeles.

The slowdown in home sales has affected the following ETFs in an adverse manner:

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

This fund tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Home Construction Index. There are a total of 47 holdings in the basket. AUM is $1.04 billion and the expense ratio is 0.43%. The fund has lost 3.65% over the past six months (as of Sep 5). It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold) with a High risk outlook.

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

This fund tracks the S&P Homebuilders Select Industry Index. It is an equal-weighted fund. There are 35 holdings in the basket. AUM is $847.5 million and the expense ratio is 0.35%. The fund has lost 1.33% over the past six months (as of Sep 5). It has a Zacks ETF Rank #4 (Sell) with a High risk outlook.

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

This fund tacks the Dynamic Building & Construction Intellidex Index. There are 30 holdings in the basket. AUM is $234.2 million and the expense ratio is 0.58%. The fund has lost 0.13% over the past six months (as of Sep 5). It has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 with a High risk outlook.

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