DR Horton

What's going on with US housing?

We are coming off one of the best years for US housing in history but if you look at the shares of anything housing-related, they've crashed.

DR Horton is the largest US home builder and its shares have fallen 32% this year. It's been the same with anything that touches housing. It all kicked off as Treasury yields began to take off. The US 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 5.4% from 3.2% at the start of the year.

US 30 year fixed

It's an obvious case of the market seeing trouble ahead but is demand strong enough to overcome it?

  • We have not seen improvement in the supply chain
  • Orders were down 10% in the quarter but "it was all our decision to slow production"
  • "We saw and continued to see very strong demand"
  • Our cycle times continued to expand. We added 2 weeks.
  • We didn't want to create a buyer backlog with an unhappy experience
  • At some point prices and rates will have an impact on demand
  • We're still seeing very strong demand in multi-family
  • The overall land market has tracked the sales price of homes
  • We may adjust home builders to smaller builds if that's what the market needs
  • I think the cycle will continue to elongate
  • It feels like there's almost been a cultural shift
  • Demand is significantly higher than the homes that can be produced
  • In 2018 when rates rose, we saw a quick drop in demand, we're not seeing that this time

They said this in the press release:

“Housing market conditions remain strong despite the rise in mortgage rates, as we continue to experience homebuyer demand that exceeds our pace of supply. We are still selling homes later in the construction cycle to better ensure the certainty of the home close date for our homebuyers, and we are continuing to work to stabilize and then reduce our construction cycle times to historical norms."

But they also lowered their estimate of closed homes this year to 88-90K from 90-92K.

Shares of the company have bounced around in the pre-market and are currently trading roughly flat.

So while there is inflation , demand is keeping up with it.