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30 Sep 2010
New York, September 30, 2010 -- Moody's outlook for the homebuilding industry remains stable as
it expects that the sector will end 2010 flat compared with its dismal
performance in 2009, and show modest improvement in 2011,
said the rating agency in a new report. This outlook expresses
Moody's view that fundamental credit conditions in the homebuilding
industry will neither erode significantly nor improve materially over
the next 12 to 18 months.
"Although homebuilding remains somewhat volatile, we believe
that a material decline is unlikely," said Joseph Snider,
Moody's Vice President-Senior Credit Officer. "At
the same time, the macro drivers for a more powerful recovery remain
Although the volatile trend is expected to continue for the next few months,
Moody's expects that 2011 will experience a modest percentage increase
in key industry metrics when compared to the very weak results likely
to be posted for all of 2010. However, "the increase
in deliveries that should result in an environment of rising housing starts
and new home sales is likely to be offset by declining prices and increased
incentives," Snider noted.
Overall, a bevy of factors such as the low inventory of completed
and unsold new homes, continuing low mortgage rates and strong affordability,
and a very modest strengthening in private sector employment support Moody's
stable outlook. The keys are unemployment and consumer sentiment.
Simply put, until homebuyers feel more secure about their employment
prospects, the sector will continue to face severe headwinds,
Other major uncertainties surrounding the housing sector's potential
recovery include the a heightened risk of a double-dip economic
downturn, the large shadow inventory of foreclosed homes weighing
down home prices, and the threat of financial contagion from a continuing,
worsening commercial real estate downturn. "These risks could
delay the recovery for another year, or even cause homebuilding
to turn down as a result of a double-dip economic scenario,"
The report, "U.S. Homebuilding Industry:
Employment Trends To Determine a Homebuilding Rebound," is
available on Moody's web site, www.moodys.com.
* * * * *
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Joseph A. Snider
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Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
MD - Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's Investors Service
Moody's: U.S. Homebuilding Industry Outlook remains Stable
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