Housing expert Ivy Zelman--famous for calling the housing peak in 2005 and bottom in 2012--joined the "Halftime Report" to discuss her outlook for the sector. This comes after a report released today showed existing home sales rose to 14.7% in December, which is a record monthly increase.
Ivy Zelman thinks today's report is indicative of the sector as a whole. While Wall Street experiences record volatility swings, the housing market is in good shape. Zelman notes that inventories are at 30-year lows, while affordability is at record highs. She argues that people--especially millennials--are thinking about buying homes again, which will continue to drive up demand and sales. So while the sector has been recovering since 2012, there is still a long way to go.
Zelman believes there are some beaten-down names in the sector that make for attractive plays at current levels. The market is pricing in a recession, which she doesn't anticipate coming to fruition. On the builders side, she's looking at KB Home and CalAtlantic. Mohawk tops her list for building products, and Lowe's beats out Home Depot for Zelman's top home center trade. Some of these names are trading below or near liquidation level, and Zelman believes that once people realize the housing market is on solid footing, these stocks will be rated as "outperforms."
Trader disclosure: On January 22, 2016 the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Halftime Report" were owned by the "Halftime Report" traders:
Stephanie Link: Long AAPL, ACE, AVGO, BAC, CCL, COST, CRM, CVX, DAL, DLPH, DOW, EL, ESRX, GILD,GOOG, GOOGL, INTC, JPM, LLY, LPX, LRCX, LULU, MCD, MS, PF, PG, PPG, PRU, QCOM, RHT, SBUX, SLB, SWK, SYF, TJX, UNH, URI, V, WBA, WFC, WHR, WMT
Jim Lebenthal: Long AAPL, BA, C, CSCO, DCO,EEQ, GAIA, GM, INTC, JCP, KMI, MPC, OA, ORBC, PFE, QCOM, QRVO, SPLS, TIF, TRN,WGO