When will the housing boom end? You certainly have a variety of factors tugging away at the sector. From the end of rate cuts to a healthy resale market to the rebirth of urban high-rise development, the gravitational forces are strong. The homebuilders have been even stronger.
Last night, KB Homes
Leading residential builders D.R. Horton
So why aren't investors buying in? Obviously, it's the fear that all that tugging is eventually going to work. The lure of rock-bottom financing is tired. Whiffs of inflation aren't going away. While it's debatable whether or not higher interest rates will dissuade buyers, they very likely will have an impact on home prices. Our Home Center has a ton of great advice for those looking to make a move, but the one thing it can't do is pay your mortgage.
Does that mean that you're doomed if you buy into the sector's leading players? Not necessarily. Back in March, I argued that the home makers were living on borrowed time. The falling share prices since then bear out my worries, but I have become more sympathetic lately. I guess falling stock prices in light of great news will do that to the value hunter in me.
While I still think that many of my concerns are legitimate, I also feel that the stocks are beginning to factor in some of that risk. Watching the leading home manufacturers grow faster than the industry as a whole also makes me believe that the companies will fare better than I once feared by swallowing market share.
Supertramp once sang about taking the long way home. Those songsmiths were putting out some sage investing advice.
Will your next home be new or are you lured by the location of existing homes? Will you dare to do some remodeling work yourself? Stuck on stucco? All this and more -- in the Building/Maintaining a Home discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is grateful for indoor plumbing. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.