Traders looking for exposure to a continued rebound in the housing market should consider plays on the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSE:XHB). The fund includes a basket of housing-related companies from builders like KB Home (NYSE:KBH) and Pulte (NYSE:PHM), to home improvement players like Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Sherwin Williams (NYSE:SHW). By purchasing a broad swath of companies via the XHB, traders avoid the risk of picking a housing stock that ends up underperforming the broader sector.
On the news front CoreLogic, a data firm based in Santa Ana, Calif., recently reported home “prices rose by 2.5% in June from a year ago, and by 6% from the previous quarter.… The quarterly jump was the largest since 2005.” Continued signs of a comeback in housing prices ought to bolster investors’ confidence and increase their desire to snatch up shares of housing-related stocks.
Click to EnlargeGood news aside, the price action in XHB of late has been soundly in favor of the bulls. From the October 2011 low of $12.21, the homebuilders ETF rallied over 83% to $22.43 in April 2012. Since the April peak, it has spent the last four months digesting the impressive gain by building a solid base. If XHB can clear resistance in the $22 to $22.50 area, another leg higher may be in the offing.
Traders believing the rise in homebuilders is likely to continue in the coming months might consider entering a longer-term bull call spread. Here are two suggestions:
Buy the Dec 22-25 bull call spread for $1.16
Max risk $1.16
Max reward $1.84
Buy the Dec 22-24 bull call spread for 88 cents
Max Risk 88 cents
Max Reward $1.12
The Dec 22-24 spread is the more conservative of the two because it only requires the XHB to rise above $24 by December expiration to capture the maximum profit.
At the time of this writing Tyler Craig held no positions in any stocks mentioned here.