FA Alpha Daily

With the current rates, the only supply comes from the homebuilders

Despite the difficulty of purchasing a home due to the significant surge in the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, demand for housing still persists. With the inventory of existing homes continuing to diminish, the focus has shifted towards new constructions, a favorable outcome for top homebuilder, Lennar. In today’s FA Alpha Daily, we delve into the current landscape of the housing market and Lennar’s potential to thrive in this environment.

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With interest rates remaining higher for longer, mortgage rates have also remained at elevated levels. Currently, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sits around 7.2%, up from approximately 3% in 2020.

This significant rise in borrowing costs has undoubtedly made the process of purchasing a home much more difficult and expensive for potential buyers.

In an environment of higher mortgage rates, one would expect to see homebuying demand weaken as affordability decreases. However, data shows that buyers are not struggling as much as expected. There appear to be two key trends helping to sustain purchase activity.

Many existing homeowners, who locked in low fixed rates in recent years, are reluctant to sell their properties. Moving would require taking on a new mortgage at today’s much higher interest rates, instead of keeping their low-rate loans.

As a result, there is less existing home inventory on the market. All new housing demand is being directed towards homebuilders rather than existing property listings.

Furthermore, prospective homebuyers seem to have accepted that mortgage rates will likely remain elevated for the foreseeable future.

Purchase demand has remained steady as buyers recognize they may not see rates decline back to 3% any time soon. This realization is convincing more people to purchase homes now rather than wait and see if borrowing costs fall further.

For homebuilders like Lennar (LEN), this combination of constrained existing home supply and persistent buyer demand bodes well for future sales.

As one of the largest home construction companies in the United States, Lennar is well-positioned to capture additional market share as demand shifts toward new home purchases.

Lennar has a long track record of adapting its strategy to changing economic conditions. Even during downturns, Lennar focuses on maintaining production levels while prioritizing profitability through efficient operations.

This “production first” approach helps Lennar gain scale advantages over competitors during expansionary periods.

Additionally, Lennar’s financial services division reduces reliance on housing cycles by providing mortgage originations for its homebuyers.

Lennar has organically grown into the nation’s second-biggest homebuilder through strategic acquisitions and geographic expansion plans.

With a demonstrated ability to navigate cycles, Lennar is well-positioned to capitalize on the current environment. Management expects demand for new single-family homes to remain robust over the long run due to the housing shortage.

If resale activity remains constrained and buyers continue adjusting to higher rates, Lennar’s sales volumes could exceed expectations over the next decade as it gains additional market share.

Best regards,

Joel Litman & Rob Spivey
Chief Investment Strategist &
Director of Research
at Valens Research

This portfolio analysis highlights the same insights we share with our FA Alpha Members. To find out more, visit our website.

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