Real Estate

Housing stocks lose footing on fears of slowdown

Shares of US builders and real estate groups tumbled on Tuesday as investors digested fresh signs of a housing slowdown.

Sales of previously owned homes slipped in December, hitting their lowest level since November 2015 and marking the gauge’s first drop in three months. The larger-than-expected decline renewed concerns over the impact of rising interest rates and elevated prices, which have pushed more buyers to the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Stanley Black & Decker cited a softer housing market when it provided full-year earnings guidance that fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts. An economic slowdown in the US and overseas is not “catastrophic,” chief executive James Loree said, but the company warned that its tools business was hurt by rising interest rates that dragged on housing activity.

KB Home was the worst performer among the largest US homebuilders with shares dropping 3.8 per cent. The stock fell more than 5 per cent at its lows during the session. PulteGroup dropped 1 per cent, while DR Horton lost 2 per cent. The S&P homebuilders select industry index was down 1.8 per cent.

Redfin, the online real estate brokerage, shed 12.6 per cent of its value. Zillow saw its shares drop 7.6 per cent.


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