When looking at the USG numbers through the first two months of 2012, Widner cautions that the unseasonably warm winter weather across the U.S. should make many housing market comparable stats look good year over year. For investors who missed this leg up in housing related stocks, the current sentiment may not be the trigger to buy.
"Is this a major market swing or just a pull forward by a few months?" the Stifel analyst asked.
Widner cautioned that there is a difference between the real world and the stock market, and the difference between a perma-bull like Buffett and how to play housing stocks.
"If you are Buffett, you can prognosticate and always win in the end. For a perma-bull, eventually it's destiny, if nothing else because inflation drives prices higher."
Reality is somewhat different though. "I was just talking to an architect who saw his team go from double digits in 2005 to three, and he laughed at the idea of a step change," Widner said. "When I asked if business picking up meant it was heading back to normal, he laughed again," the analyst explained. "Better doesn't mean good," Widner said.
Just don't tell that to Warren Buffett, who is willing to wait a long time before being right.
-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.
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