NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/28/13 -- U.S. home builders' impressive run has continued in 2013 as positive data supporting the U.S. housing markets recovery continues to roll in. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) has surged approximately 13.25 percent so far in 2013. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Residential Construction Industry and provides equity research on KB Home (NYSE: KBH) and Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN).
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Home prices in the U.S. posted their largest gain in January since June 2006, just prior to the "housing bubble burst." The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 8.1 year-over-year in January, up from the 6.8 percent seen in December. All of the cities tracked by the index saw prices rise, while 8 out of the 20 posted double digit-gains.
Separately, a report released by the Commerce Department earlier this month showed permits for future construction were at a 4 and a half year high. Home builders in the U.S. started construction on houses and apartments at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000 in February, the second-largest pace seen since June 2008.
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Shares of KB Home have gained nearly 40 percent so far in 2013, and have more than doubled in the past year. The company reported revenues of $405.2 million for the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 59 percent when compared to revenues of $254.6 million for the first quarter of 2012. During the first quarter KB Home delivered a total of 1,485 homes.
Shares of Lennar are up approximately 8 percent in 2013, and have gained over 60 percent in the past year. The company reported revenues from home sales in the first quarter of 2013 increased 40 percent year-over-year to $855.1 million, compared to $610.7 million in the first quarter of 2012. During the first quarter Lennar delivered a total of 3,174 homes.
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