‘From the deserts of East Ham to the gardens of Cottenham’, the UK Housebuilding Sector was whacked to the tune of 27% in 2018; and not one share price (out of 18) rose on the London Stock Exchange.
It was also hit ‘slowly’ rather than ‘quick’, as the downward momentum gathered tempo, with 4Q (minus 16%) being the worst.
“Ow”, as the late, great Ian Dury (1942-2000) sang in one of his most famous songs (and his sole number one): ‘Hit me with your Rhythm Stick’.
But his was/and is a capricious business, just like housebuilding. For example, from 252 trading days in 2018, 52% were ‘up’ and 48% were ‘down’. Similarly, the maximum rise and fall in a single day was plus 5.0% and minus 6.3%, respectively.
But there are ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’, too, and for Mr Dury they came in threes – “a bit of grin and bear it, a bit of come and share it. You’re welcome we can spare it”. He was one of few true originals of the English music scene.
And UK Housebuilding can also enjoy its own jocund, musical treble, even with the dissonance of an off-key No-Deal-Brexit Big Bopper:
1: December was the only month in 4Q to see a rise in value (+1%), the nine-day trading period over Christmas added a further 2.2% and then the first four trading days of 2019 plus 3.2%;
2: earnings are to be flat, based on a consensus of forecasts, in 2019 but will increase (at least) 5% next year; and
3: a prospective yield of 7%.
2018: the Sector has had its worst year.