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Homebuilder ETFs Falter on Latest Housing Data

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

The housing market took a blow today as the Department of Commerce reported that U.S. homebuilding fell to a nine-month low in June while building permits declined for a third straight month.

In addition, housing starts fell by 12.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.173 million units in June-- the lowest level since September 2017.

Three of the biggest homebuilder ETFs in terms of total assets were on the downside as of 11:00 a.m. ET-- iShares US Home Construction ETF (ITB) --down 1.23%, SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) --down 0.66% and Invesco Dynamic Building & Const ETF (PKB) --down 0.61%.

The ETF with the largest total assets, ITB, has struggled to move past its 200-day moving average price of $39.49 and is down 12.53% year-to-date per Yahoo! performance numbers.

Homebuilder ETFs Falter on Latest Housing Starts Data 1

The Department of Commerce said building permits dropped 2.2 percent to a rate of 1.273 million units--its lowest level since September 2017. A Reuters poll had economists forecasting that housing starts would fall to a pace of 1.320 million units in June while permits would rise to a rate of 1.330 million units.

“New single-family building permits, which are the leading indicator of construction of new homes, rose by 4.6 percent in June – the 2nd lowest growth rate in 2018," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater. "There’s been a noticeable slowdown in single-family permit activity this year, and especially the last four months, which have had two of the three lowest readings over the last three years."

Homebuilder Confidence Strong

Despite the recent data, the National Association of Home Builders released a separate report that showed homebuilder confidence in the U.S. held steady during the month of July. Additionally, the report stated that the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index was unchanged in July after dipping to 68 in June.

"Consumer demand for single-family homes is holding strong this summer, buoyed by steady job growth, income gains and low unemployment in many parts of the country," said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel.

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