Home builders have had a very rough run lately. It’s probably not over by a long shot either. Those engaged in the industry generally understood that residential real estate was overbought and inventories would eventually grow very large if building kept on pace. These same builders kept building at the same pace, all the while creating an astronomical number of unsold developed properties in their portfolio.
With the credit crisis stifling mortgages and home sales, these builders are in a very risky position with portfolio’s full of unsold homes that are now depreciating in value by the day. Without substantial rate cuts, the housing market will likely not rebound for a few years. This will force many home builders to sell their inventory at a discount and others to declare bankruptcy. It may be a good time to watch ITB (see below chart vs. CFC) and consider shorting it.
I’ve charted ITB against CFC because I believe they follow a very similar downward trend without support. CFC is guiding even lower and ITB is likely to follow as the situation worsens throughout 2007. Traders may want to short ITB and go long gold, US treasury bonds or Euros for a potential recession hedge. Good luck!