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One of the most heavily shorted industries is the residential construction industry, thanks to the subprime-mortgage debacle, rising interest rates, overspeculation and a surplus of inventory for sale.

The short-sellers are hoping for a continued drop in the price of homebuilder stocks, but any sudden positive news, such as an interest-rate cut by the

Federal Reserve

, or even a rumor of one, could send the price of the stocks higher as short-sellers are forced to cover their positions.

For this reason, at Stockpickr we have put together the

Short-Squeeze Housing Stocks

, a list of heavily shorted names in the sector.

The second most shorted homebuilder is

Brookfield Homes

( BHS), with a short ratio of 26 and more than 21% of the float sold short. The Virginia-based company specializes in luxury single-family and multifamily construction. The stock has a trailing

price-to-earnings ratio of 5, but the company's revenue has dropped by more than 24% year over year.

The stock appears on

Barron's Insider Purchases 6-25-07

, making this list after CEO Ian Cockwell last month purchased 133,800 shares, or about $4 million worth of stock. This portfolio also lists a couple of other stocks with high short ratios,

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

(LGND) - Get Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated Report

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, with a short ratio of 15.8, and

Terremark Worldwide

( TMRK), with a short ratio of 23.

Brookfield also appears in

Insider Purchases and Buybacks X

, a recent Stockpickr portfolio that also features


(SCS) - Get Steelcase Inc. Class A Report

, which has a short ratio of 17.

Want more? Check out TV video. Gregg Greenberg discusses some heavily shorted homebuilder stocks that could be squeezed higher.

Next on the list is

Avatar Holdings

( AVTR). The residential developer, which builds in Florida and Arizona, is No. 3 on our list. It has a short ratio of 22 with 15% of its share float shorted.

The stock has a trailing P/E of only 5. It appears in the Stockpickr portfolio of

Small-Cap Value Stockpickr

holdings, which also contains

Nordic American Tanker Shipping

(NAT) - Get Nordic American Tankers Limited Report

, a stock with a short ratio of 4.

Avatar is also part of

Kenneth Fisher Strategy

, a Stockpickr portfolio that includes another residential construction company,


(NVR) - Get NVR, Inc. Report

, which has a short ratio of 13.

WCI Communities

( WCI) also makes the list of heavily shorted homebuilders.

The stock, which has a short ratio of 14, does not appear to be cheap on paper. However, billionaire investor

Carl Icahn

recently filed to nominate 10 directors to replace WCI's board.

Icahn has said he believes WCI shares are undervalued and that he planned to talk with WCI's management to suggest how to "unlock" that value. Icahn owns 6.1 million shares, or 14.6% of the total shares outstanding. To view Icahn's entire holdings, including


( MOT) and



, check out the

Carl Icahn portfolio

on Stockpickr.

And for all the names on the list of heavily shorted homebuilder stocks, including the No. 1 stock, check out the

Short-Squeeze Housing Stocks

portfolio on

At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of Stockpickr LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for

The Financial Times

and the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund


Trade Like Warren Buffett



. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

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