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Pulte, Horton, Lennar Rise After Report of Strong Housing Starts

Housing starts leaped 19.4% last month to a 1.74 million annualized rate, beating forecasts. Pulte, Horton, Lennar and other homebuilders benefited.
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Homebuilder stocks, such as PulteGroup  (PHM) - Get PulteGroup Inc. Report, D.R. Horton  (DHI) - Get D.R. Horton Inc. Report and Lennar  (LEN) - Get Lennar Corporation Class A Report, rose Friday after a report that U.S. housing starts during March soared to their highest level in 15 years.

Starts skyrocketed 19.4% last month to a 1.74 million annualized rate. That beat the median estimate of a Bloomberg survey for a 1.61 million rate.

Pulte shares recently traded at $53.84, up 0.7%; Horton shares at $95.51, up 2.6%; and Lennar at $103.92, up 1%.

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IShares U.S. Home Construction ETF  (ITB) - Get iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF Report, the biggest homebuilder ETF, recently traded at $72.22, up 1.5%. It has climbed 20% over the past six months amid the housing-market boom during the pandemic. 

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Even though interest rates rose in March, low rates have combined with low supply to spark sales.

Homebuilding applications, an indicator of future construction, climbed 2.7% to an annualized 1.77 million units in March.

Last month, Lennar posted better-than-expected results for its first quarter ended Feb. 28 and offered an upbeat forecast as low interest rates and COVID-19-driven demand drove its financial results for the period.

Lennar reported net income of $1 billion, or $3.20 a diluted share, on revenue of $5.3 billion. Lennar had been expected to report adjusted net income of $541.7 million, or $1.71 a share, on sales of $5.1 billion.

Also in March, ran a story from Nerd Wallet that urged homeowners to sell their properties amid the current froth market. “A lot of people are missing the best market now by waiting,” says agent Kris Lindahl.