The Lowest Mortgage Rates Ever in US History


(Written by Rebecca Lipman. List compiled by Eben Esterhuizen, CFA. Data sourced fromYahoo! Finance.)

Thinking of buying a house? Financially, it may not be the best time to do so, but few can deny the incentives are quite inviting.

According to mortgage lender Freddie Mac, interest rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped below 4% to 3.94% for the first time ever. For a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rates go as low as 3.26%.  According to the Daily Finance, “Today, we can say, it has literally never been cheaper to finance a home.”

Sure, it’s becoming more difficult to be qualified for a loan, and a weak economy makes it hard to afford a home in the first place. But as Daily Finance reminds us, lower demand makes for lower prices.

What’s more, reports show the percentage of vacant housing jumped 43.8% to 15 million, or 11.4% of all houses – up from 10.4 million homes in 2000.

So with an already cheap housing market, options a-plenty, and mortgage rates at an all time low, it’s likely more than a few people waiting on the housing market sidelines are thinking to make the plunge.

What we want to know is this: Do housing executives think the market is about to turn around?

To help you explore this idea, we started with a universe of about 60 stocks that have an exposure to the U.S. housing market.

To refine the list, we collected data on insider transactions, and identified the housing stocks that have seen significant insider buying over the last six months.

Insider executives are using their own money to buy into their employers–do you think this is a bullish signal for the housing market?

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1. Avatar Holdings Inc. (AVTR): Operates in the real estate business in Florida and Arizona. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 10,749 shares, which represents about 0.16% of the company's 6.91M share float.

2. Ameron International Corporation (AMN): Ameron International Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells engineered products and materials for the chemical, industrial, energy, transportation, and infrastructure industries from its plants in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 65,500 shares, which represents about 0.17% of the company's 38.62M share float.

3. Griffon Corporation (GFF): Operates as a manufacturing company, with an exposure to the housing market. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 14,000 shares, which represents about 0.02% of the company's 57.64M share float.

4. Headwaters Inc. (HW): Provides products, technologies, and services in the building products, construction material, and energy industries primarily in the United States and Canada. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 25,000 shares, which represents about 0.04% of the company's 59.07M share float.

5. Texas Industries Inc. (TXI): Engages in the production and supply of heavy construction materials in the United States. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 344,598 shares, which represents about 1.58% of the company's 21.76M share float.

6. PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (PMT): Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 77,250 shares, which represents about 0.34% of the company's 22.84M share float.

7. Campus Crest Communities, Inc. (CCG): Focuses on building, owning, and managing student housing properties in the United States. Over the last six months, insiders were net buyers of 10,900 shares, which represents about 0.04% of the company's 30.58M share float. 

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Real Estate , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AMN , AVTR , GFF , HW , TXI , PMT , CCG



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