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ETF Talk: Is Housing a Sturdy Investment?

While last weekâ??s ETF Talk explained how to capitalize on the housing rebound by investing in industrials, todayâ??s article focuses more directly on how to profit from the recovery in housing. One exchange-traded fund (ETF) that is designed to take advantage of the recovery in housing is SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB). That fund is worth considering strongly due to an improving labor market and continuing low mortgage rates that are spurring home buying.

This non-diversified fund seeks investment results, before fees and expenses, which correspond to the total return performance of the homebuilding segment of a U.S. total market composite index.

After an astounding 52.52% increase in 2012, XHB has risen 4.49% so far this year. XHB also yields 0.97%, so it offers a bit of income along with the capital appreciation of its share price. In light of the Fedâ??s easy-money policies, further gains seem likely for housing and housing-related funds.

XHB has holdings in five sectors, though the lionâ??s share, 70.82%, is in the consumer cyclical sector. The fundâ??s other noteworthy holdings, basic materials, with 14.72%, and industrials, with 10.41%, are also significant for the housing ETF. XHBâ??s holdings are rounded out by the technology sector, with 3.16%, and consumer defensive, with 0.88%.

In terms of individual companies held by XHB, the top ten positions comprise 34.23% of the fundâ??s total assets. Those holdings are led by Hovnanian Enterprises, with 4.09%, the only company with more than 4% of XHBâ??s assets. The next four top holdings are Standard Pacific Corp, 3.47%; Mohawk Industries, 3.44%; Ryland Group, 3.36%; and Lumber Liquidators, 3.34%.

Even if the housing rebound is not as robust as many observers predict, public companies in that sector held by XHB should show improved per-share performance, earnings and revenues. The Fedâ??s continuing easy-money policy, among other regulatory tools to stimulate the economy, should help to sustain the positive outlook for housing builders and related companies in the sector.

If you want my advice about buying and selling specific ETFs, including appropriate stop losses, please consider subscribing to my Successful Investing newsletter. As always, I am happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to email me by clicking here. You just may see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.

Written By

Doug Fabian is the editor of Successful Investing and High Monthly Income, and is the host of the syndicated radio show, "Doug Fabian's Wealth Strategies." Taking over the reigns from his dad, Dick Fabian, back in 1992, Doug has continued to uphold the reputation of the newsletter as the #1 risk-adjusted market timer as ranked by Hulbertâ??s Investment Digest. For more than 30 years, Successful Investing (formerly the Telephone Switch Newsletter) has produced double-digit annual gains. Doug has become known for his expert knowledge and timely use of innovative tools like Exchange Traded Funds, bear funds and Enhanced Index funds to profit in any market climate.

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