Should investors be buying shares in Brexit-battered housebuilders?


With cranes in the sky and share prices on the floor. Should we all be buying housebuilder shares? (Source: Getty)

Despite something of a recovery on the stock markets in recent days, some sectors out there are still looking pretty rough.

Housebuilders are among them.

So bad was the post-referendum sell-off, trading in FTSE 100 listed firms was temporarily suspended on Monday as their share prices were hit by two consecutive days of double-digit falls.

Across the board, housebuilders are off by 34 per cent since the vote. However, one analyst thinks the fire-sale has gone too far and is telling "brave" investors to start snapping them up at a discount.

Liberum believes if the UK economy enters a period of slowdown, house prices will fall by around three per cent next year. Looking at previous periods of falling house prices, analysts there estimate this would knock around 18 per cent from housebuilders' earnings per share and 20 per cent from the target prices of key stocks.

Therefore, a 34 per cent fall in share prices since last week is a bit too much, in their eyes.

"Valuations across the sector are much more compelling ... especially with dividends mainly intact ... due to strong balance sheets and landbanks. We do not foresee asset write downs" they said in a note this morning.

Read more: Check the average house price in every London postcode

They "limited" their 'Buy' recommendations to three particular housebuilders - Bellway, Berkeley and Gleeson - but maintained 'Hold' status on the UK's other major firms including Barratt, Bovis, Persimmon, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey.

"The biggest risk is that uncertainty continues for a long time," said Liberum's Charlie Campbell, adding: "Buyers have delayed purchases in recent years for lesser reasons than current levels."

A survey out this morning found one-fifth of Londoners were less likely to sell their home after the UK's vote to leave the EU.