If you want to invest in homebuilders, check your calendar.
Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Jack Micenko said the best time to buy homebuilder stocks is between November and March.
"Typically homebuilders contract for homes and deliver them in the second half of the year, so if there is this recovery you’re going to see it in a pronounced way in the first half of the coming year," he said. "Then this trade typically reverses. That’s where the risk is."
Housing has hit a bottom, Micenko said, but the debate right now is how robust the recovery will be. "When you look at our 2012 housing delivery estimates, we’re about 6 percent above 2011," he said. "So we think it’s a pretty modest recovery, but certainly things have stopped getting worse."
His picks in the sector are Lennar and Toll Brothers, but he stressed that what happens at those companies "is not housing-recovery specific, it's company specific."
Lennar, for instance, recently announced southeast Florida orders are up 88 percent.
"Lennar clearly is doing something differently in their business realtive to the industry overall," Micenko said. "When you look at the builders today you have to look at who's growing book value."
CNBC Data Pages:
Jack Micenko does not own shares of Lennar or Toll Brothers, but Susquehanna Financial does. It also makes a market in the stocks.