Homebuilders Flying as Building Permits Climb

June 19, 2012 10:30 AM EDT
SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSE: XHB) is moving higher in early trading on Tuesday after building permits climbed to the highest level since 2008. The report today showed that low interest rates are spurring demand for new houses, and homebuilders are benefiting. So far this year XHB is higher by almost 19 percent, making it one of the best performing sectors in the S&P 500.

"We saw a very strong number in new permits, indicating builders are seeing improving demand," said Russel Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit.

A report yesterday showed that U.S. homebuilder confidence climbed to a five year high in June, and some analysts are saying that the string of positive data suggests that the U.S. housing market collapse may have finally bottomed.

Reports earlier this month showed that there is still a fair amount of shadow inventory held at banks and foreclosure filings increased, but analysts found bright spots in these numbers as well, and there is a clear shift in sentiment among economists.

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