U.S. Housing Business Looking Up
John Paulson has a solid history investing in the construction industry. Slow but steady increases in the market have pushed Paulson & Co. to support William Lyon Homes, a homebuilding company based in Newport Beach, CA. The company raised $217.5 million with its initial public offering earlier this month.
Despite hitting rough times in previous years, William Lyon’s sales jumped by over a third last year to $76.4 million. Last November, Paulson & Co. invested $30 million in the company. The firm now owns 21% of the stock as well as 10% of the voting power.
The recent investment indicates that Paulson may be shifting his focus back to the housing industry as the market improves. Prices of new homes are on the rise, and have increased by 11% since this time last year. According to the Financial Post, a Brooklyn townhouse on sale for $950,000 attracted over 300 visitors. While many investors and entrepreneurs are placing their bets with homebuilders, others are approaching the market from other angles.
Bill Smead of Smead Capital Management, for example, explained that he bought shares in Home Depot because it sells home construction equipment, and also invested in banks with inventories of foreclosed homes, like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan.