July 16, 2012 / 9:24 PM / 5 years ago

TEXT-Fitch: surging housing stats good news for U.S. homebuilders

July 16 - Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: U.S. Homebuilding/Construction: 
The Chalk Line 
Summer 2012July 16 - Builder and investor enthusiasm are both surging, though U.S.
housing metrics have not entirely kept pace so far, according to Fitch Ratings
in its latest 'Chalk Line' report.

In any case, year-to-date housing metrics are well above 2011 levels. This in 
turn has buoyed Fitch's housing forecasts for 2012, albeit a moderate rise off a
very low bottom.

Fitch projects single-family housing starts to improve about 12%, new-home sales
to rise approximately 10.5%, and existing pending home sales to grow 5.5%. 
Housing growth should be slightly more robust next year.  Single-family-starts 
should expand 14%, while new-home sales advance 12%.  Existing home sales should
increase 4%.

Fitch will provide a brief recap of the first-quarter 2012 as well as discuss 
the outlook for 2012 and 2013 during a teleconference to be held Tuesday, July 
17 at 11:00 a.m. ET (separate press release to follow). 

Fitch's latest 'U.S. Homebuilding: The Chalk Line - Quarterly Update: Summer 
2012' includes the following key updates and new features:

--Homebuilders' quarterly growth trends and margin statistics for 1Q'12, 
excluding the impact of non-recurring, non-cash real estate charges, are 
provided as is information about the calendar first-quarter and fiscal 
year-to-date option write-offs and land value write-downs;

--Current builder margin trends;  

-- Updated liquidity analyses and historical liquidity profiles;

--Recovery ratings are detailed for six single B or lower rated homebuilding 
credits;

--2011 industry ranking and market share information; 

--The Census Bureau's historical constant prices and price indexes;  

--Characteristics of 2011 new homes;  

--The shift in preference to larger homes;  

--Historical asset impairments and option write-offs by builder;  

--The NAHB's Improving Markets Index;     

--Various foreclosure statistics and related data are updated along with a 
summary of historical foreclosure filings;  

--There are also new comments on Operation Twist, strategic defaults, home 
pricing, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, FHA, AD&C financing, home appraisals, proposed 
and new federal and California government regulations, including the new version
of HARP, and surveys about home ownership;    

--Fitch's economic and construction forecast for 2012 has been updated and 2013 
projections have been introduced. 

The report is available at 'www.fitchratings.com' under 'Latest Research' or by 
clicking on the above link.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'

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