AP News

Sector Snap: Homebuilders climb

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of homebuilders rose on Monday as a new survey indicated that top business economists believe that modest growth will be ongoing in 2013, led by rising demand for housing.

The survey was released by the National Association for Business Economics. Based on the survey, NABE sees economic growth of 2.1 percent after 2.2 percent growth in 2012.

NABE is scheduled to release its housing market index Tuesday.

Jade Rahmani of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods said in a client note that homebuilder stocks rose nearly 3 percent last week, compared with a slight decline for the S&P 500. For the year to date, homebuilder shares have more than doubled, compared with a 12.6 percent increase by the S&P 500.

Ken Usdin of Jefferies said that regional banks appear to be doing well so far for the quarter to date, partly because of improving housing trends. The analyst said home prices and consumer sentiment continue to get better, the housing supply continues to dwindle, and new and existing home sales are both up year over year.

Investors are also eager for more housing data set to be released later this week. On Wednesday the government releases data on housing starts, followed by existing home sales on Thursday.

Here's a look at how some homebuilders are doing in afternoon trading:

— Toll Brothers Inc. added $1.29, or 4.2 percent, to $32.14.

— KB Home gained 38 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $16.03.

— PulteGroup Inc. rose 82 cents, or 4.8 percent, to $17.96.

— Meritage Homes Corp. climbed 24 cents to $37.90.

— Lennar Corp. added $1.09, or 2.9 percent, to $38.40.

— D.R. Horton Inc. gained 75 cents, or 4 percent, to $19.49.

— Beazer Homes USA Inc. climbed 54 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $15.01.

— Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. rose 24 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $5.54.

— Ryland Group Inc. added $1.99, or 5.9 percent, to $35.60.

— Standard Pacific Corp. gained 41 cents, or 6.3 percent, to $6.96.

— MDC Holdings Inc. climbed $1.29, or 3.8 percent, to $35.51.

— M/I Homes Inc. rose 89 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $23.97.

— NVR Inc. added $9.88 to $927.40.

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