Some thoughts on house-builders

I’ve been out of house-builders for some time, worried that we might be at a cyclical high. I have no way have knowing if we’re near the top. There may still be a long way to go.

Note that I am using figures that span a decade in my discussion below.

Let me pick BDEV (Barratts) at random. I see that it is near its high in PBV. It has a ROE of 12.1%, exceeded only in 2006 and 2007. It is a member of the FTSE100.

Another: TW. (Taylor Wimpey). PBV at 2.66, another high. ROE 14.3%, matched in 2006. It is a member of the FTSE100.

PSN (Persimmon). PBV 2.75. Historical (in decade) high. ROE 17.3%, exceeded only in 2006 and 2007. Member of FTSE100.

See the problem here? The builders are getting close to their highs in terms of ROEs and PBVs. There’s now quite a few of them in the FTSE100.

As we have seen with miners, when cyclical stocks are featured heavily in the FTSE100, we should be cautious.

The call is too tough for me to make, which is why I am on the sidelines with builders. Best of luck with whatever you decide.


About mcturra2000

Computer programmer living in Scotland.
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2 Responses to Some thoughts on house-builders

  1. Ian M Smith says:

    They are certainly on a momentum type investment with new highs and arguably valuations that are becoming valued/over valued. That is certainly the difficulty in deciding what to do. A momentum strategy like this on cyclical stocks can easily tank on negative news.

    I have topped up on BDEV today. But I may put in a stop loss should the market disagree with me to such an extent that momentum turns too strongly against us.

    • mcturra2000 says:

      Admittedly, I’ve been out of house-builders for awhile, so I have missed out on some big gains. I think you have a sensible strategy, seeing if you can milk the market on more momentum, with a stop-loss.

      Best of luck!

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