Here's how to play housing: Cramer

Cramer's top housing plays

The spring season will likely be strong for the U.S. housing market, at least if positive quarterly earnings results from home builders are any indication, Jim Cramer suggested Thursday on CNBC.

KB Home, the fifth-biggest home builder, posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday. Some market observers, however, thought its strong results were just an anomaly.

On Thursday, however, rival Lennar reported . Its results are notable because Lennar is the U.S.'s third-biggest home builder.

"When I look at the Lennar numbers, I say, 'OK, KB Home, was it an outlier? No,'" Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street."

Though interest rates are likely to increase, Cramer thinks housing will be helped by strong demand and rising prices.

To play housing, though, Cramer would actually avoid home builder stocks.

"These stocks have already been on the move. I don't want to chase them. I don't mind being in the stuff that's in the home," Cramer said, listing Masco, Whirpool, Sherwin-Williams and Fortune Brands Home & Security as examples of housing second-derivative plays he can get behind. "These stocks are not expensive."

—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm. Follow him on Twitter @DrewSandholm.