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These Housing Stocks Are Up Over 24% in 2012

Housing stocks have rallied 14 percent from their low at the beginning of the month, and 31 percent so far this year.

In fact, the Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index is off only 5 percent from its 2012 high after rallying in June on decent home data.

A read on sentiment Monday illustrated home builders are the most optimistic they’ve been in five years, while data on Wednesday showed that permits for new construction hit their highest level in four years.

Cheap prices and low borrowing rates continue to pace demand and lure potential buyers. Indeed, another report Tuesday showed building permits, or applications to break ground, rose 7.9 percent in May to their highest level since 2008.

Is a housing recovery on the horizon?

“We think the higher construction activity will translate into better new home sales data reported next Monday, and would also expect May pending home sales (contract signings on existing homes) to show strength next Wednesday, which should boost the stocks,” said Credit Suisse analyst Dan Oppenheim.

Here is a look at some of the best performing stocks in the housing sector this year.