After plunging to a year’s low last month, housebuilders are still struggling to break out of the mire as the Square Mile’s version of reality continues to haunt the sector.
This month’s selling spree began in earnest after ABN Amro lowered its rating on Barratt to “sell’” from “buy”. ABN also sprinkled some ashes over Persimmon, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey, which all tumbled after being moved to “hold” from “buy”.
If that wasn’t bad enough, a couple of days later UBS decided to downgrade the entire European construction and building materials sector, cutting it to “neutral” from “overweight”, and warning the industry faced a “strong headwind” on the back of the US and UK housing market woes. UBS cut its ratings on Redrow to “sell” from “neutral” and Taylor Wimpey to “neutral” from “buy”. Not even a reasonably bullish forecast from Bellway this week could resuscitate prices.
At current prices, housebuilders look pretty good value as a long-term bet.