Ryland Group is a homebuilder and a mortgage-finance company. The homebuilding segments focuses on the sales of completed homes, as well as sales of land and lots. In addition to building single-family detached homes, the homebuilding segments also build attached homes, such as townhomes and condominiums that share common walls and roofs. Co. builds homes for entry-level buyers, as well as for first- and second-time move-up buyers. Co.'s homes are built on-site and marketed in four regions, or segments: North, Southeast, Texas and West. The financial services segment provides mortgage-related products and services, as well as title, escrow and insurance services, to its homebuyers.
The U.S. housing recovery continues to gain momentum. There are several ways for you as an investor to take advantage of this trend. You could buy a second home in one of the recovering but still depressed markets such as Atlanta. Or you can scoop up a homebuilding ETF. As a group, the homebuilders are markedly off their lows, but still well below their all-time highs set in 2006 or 2007. My preference, though, is to buy select shares.
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