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What You Might Be Missing with Homebuilders

Friday, 31 May 2013 | 3:58 PM ET

More people are buying homes, according to recent housing data put out by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Compared to April 2012, pending home sales are up 10.3%. For the entire year, the real estate brokers' trade group expects home sales to increase 7% from 2012.

But, the growth hasn't been uniform across the US, they point out. The West and the South were hit with declines in sales while the Northeast and Midwest were up. And, within those regional markets, sales depend what metropolitan area you're looking at.

Meanwhile in the bond markets, interest rates have been moving up. The 10-year Treasury bond yield has jumped from 1.63% to 2.17% in the past month alone. Mortgage lenders use benchmarks such as US Treasury yields to determine the mortgage rates they give to homebuyers. Higher Treasury rates over time mean higher mortgage rates, something that can dampen the housing market.

Still, the Treasury 10-year rates are still near their all-time lows even with the recent move up. How do these and other economic data factor in what's next for homebuilders?

Talking Numbers asked CNBC contributors Dan Greenhaus, Chief Global Strategist at BTIG for his economic insights and Abigail Doolittle, Technical at The Seaport Group to analyze the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) chart.

To hear what may be next for the economy and housing, watch the analyses by Greenhaus and Doolittle in the video above.

[Disclosures: Abigail Doolittle follows the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF and maintains a sell rating with a $21 price target. Neither she nor The Seaport Group maintains a position in the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF.]

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