In June, National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Crowe projected that single-family home construction will fall this year by 9 percent from last year to 431,000 the lowest level on records going back more than a half-century.
Even so, some homebuilders say customer traffic is improving heading into the fall.
On Monday, Lennar CEO Stuart Miller told analysts that his company is still seeing building strength, in terms of people coming in. He said that trend is generally upward.
However, the executive stressed that demand for new homes remains constrained by the availability of financing and weak consumer confidence.Lennar shares surged on Monday, but were among the few homebuilding stocks on a slide in afternoon trading on Tuesday. The Miami-based builder's shares were down 17 cents to $14.30. M/I Homes Inc. also was trading lower, slipping 7 cents to $7.38. KB Home was the biggest climber, with shares up 28 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $6.37. Elsewhere in the sector, D.R. Horton rose 25 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $9.81; PulteGroup rose 15 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $4.53; Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. added 2 cents to $1.41; Beazer Homes USA Inc. gained a penny to $1.81; Toll Brothers rose 22 cents to $16.06; NVR Inc. added $5.89 to $648; Standard Pacific Corp. gained 2 cents to $2.49; Meritage Homes Corp. rose 17 cents to $17.36; MDC Holdings Inc. added 75 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $18.53; and The Ryland Group Inc. rose 29 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $11.23.
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