Moreover, the trade group asked banks to speed up foreclosures to get more homes on the market.
“If that’s not bullish, I don’t know what is,” he added.
Cramer also said that he takes broad macro statistics “less seriously than what the individual companies in the sector are actually saying because it’s the companies that have their finger on the pulse of the industry.”
Last week, Pulte reported orders up 32 percent, and its stock soared 18 percent Thursday.
Meanwhile, Standard Pacific Homes said that orders were up 45 percent, sending the stock up more than 5 percent.
Two other companies signaled positive prospects: Wells Fargo, which owns a third of the mortgage business, reported a turn in housing; and Caterpillar noted an improvement in the sector.
How should investors play this news?
Cramer said that home builders have made strong runs, so it would be wise to wait for a pullback before buying stock in those companies.
Instead, the “stealth” housing play is U.S. Gypsum.
“USG is the largest manufacturer of gypsum wallboard in the United States, making up about 25 percent of the market,” he said. “They’re also the No. 1 player in Mexico and in eastern Canada.”
But why is this a stealth play?
Because last week the company disappointed, reporting a 15-cent loss in the quarter –2 cents worse than expected. The stock took a beating, plummeting 18 percent in a day.
“Since then, people have pretty much written off USG’s prospects, but that’s a mistake,” Cramer said. “USG imploded because the expectations got too high and the stock had run up too much — it was up 89 percent year to date going into the quarter.
“In other words, the stock was priced for perfection, and the quarter was anything but perfect.”
The estimates were strong, wallboard pricing was up 18 percent year over year, shipments were up 17 percent from last year and the company’s gross margin grew by 625 basis points.
Looking ahead, robust sales are expected in the historically strong fall season.