3 S&P/ASX 200 construction players booking gains off the back of housing sector buoyancy

The World Bank Group will hold its 8th Global Housing Finance Conference in May this year to discuss the major impediments companies face in the housing market across the globe, with affordable housing on top of the agenda.

Companies like Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC) and Stockland Corporation Ltd (ASX: SGP) are pitching their futures on developing affordable housing options for Australians with Stockland in particular focusing on higher-density residential options as part of its growth strategy going forward.

With peers like Growthpoint Properties Australia Ltd (ASX: GOZ) kicking goals in the commercial property sphere, it makes sense that companies selling building materials will be lifted by overall action in the sector, with these 3 S&P/ASX 200 construction materials stocks certainly in a good place at present.

CSR Limited (ASX: CSR)

Shares in building products supplier CSR Limited were up 1.5% to $5.34 at the time of writing – not far off the company’s 52-week high of $5.46 in March.

CSR holds interest in the smelting of aluminium through its 70% stake in Gove Aluminium Finance Limited and share prices have been steadily on the up since August 2017 as the company works hard to leverage an infrastructure boom in Australia.

CSR will release its annual report and preliminary finance report in May with hotly anticipated results.

Boral Limited (ASX: BLD)

International building and construction materials company Boral Limited’s shares were up 2.3% to $7.49 at the time of writing – its second straight day on the S&P/ASX 200 gains list.

Boral shares have tracked upwards steadily in the last 12-months from a $5.76 share price at this time last year with few announcements out of the company headquarters and financial reports not due to be logged until August.

Boral’s core businesses are cement and constructions materials in Australia, plasterboard products in Asia and bricks and roof tiles in the USA.

Ord Minnett last week named Boral as a buy on expectations the company’s earnings will be driven by success of road infrastructure spending and price increases in the heavy materials sector.

Boral booked a statutory NPAT rise of 13% to $173 million for the half-year ending December 31, 2017.

James Hardie Industries plc (ASX: JHX)

Shares in fibre cement producer James Hardie Industries plc were up close to 1% at the time of writing at $22.70.

Shares in James Hardie suffered a slide earlier this week as news of the company’s completion of its Fermacell acquisition broke, but today’s upswing may just be a delayed reaction by investors to the news.

The Fermacell uptake will assist James Hardie to gain a better foothold in the European fibre cement market and Credit Suisse has upgraded the company from neutral to outperform with a $24.75 price target on the stock.

Integrated construction materials player Adelaide Brighton Ltd. (ASX: ABC) is also on the up today, with share prices rising 0.5% to $6.28 at the time of writing.

The construction materials sector is certainly one to watch as the global housing market reinvents itself to adopt better methods of addressing the housing affordability crisis.

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