Kenneth Leon

Vice President, Institutional Analytical Services
Standard & Poor’s Equity Research Services
Kenneth M. Leon joined Standard & Poor’s in March 2003. He is a Vice President - Institutional Analytical Services of Standard & Poor’s Equity Research Services with responsibilities for services and content enhancement through the company’s platforms and distribution channels. He co-developed the firm’s ETF analytical product and is a member of the multi-asset class team for the firm. He is active with the media on both ETF and housing trends as well as a participant in investor conferences. In equity research, he is a leader of the company’s institution equity research effort and frequently participates with the media such as Bloomberg, CNBC and the Wall Street Journal. Prior to joining Standard & Poor’s, Ken spent 20 years in equity research with senior equity research responsibilities as a Managing Director at ABN Amro and Bear Stearns and a Vice President at Lehman Brothers. He was a pioneer in covering wireless trends in the telecommunications industry and played a key role in the initial public offerings for AirTouch and Qualcomm among others that totaled more than $5 billion in public underwritings. He has been recognized as a three time, Institutional Investors Magazine All Star Analyst in Telecommunications Wireless Services, and a five time Wall Street All Star. He is a CPA, and holds a BS and MBA from New York University.

Author Archives: Kenneth Leon

Home ownership may be a distant American dream

Takeaway: Affordability with low mortgage rates is not increasing monthly home sales. The American dream lives on with 72% of respondents from a survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) saying they would like to own versus rent. In our opinion, single-family homes are desirable for families that want a good school system, safe […]

Home ownership remains an American dream

Survey says: renters still want to own a home. Owning a home is still an American dream, despite many houses being underwater. As a reminder, this means that owners owe more money on the house than the appraised value. Some industry experts estimate that 25% to 30% of total homes owned in the U.S. have […]

Home remodeling faces soft demand

Takeaway: The remodeling market lacks momentum for large spending upgrades. Here are my views on the home remodeling market and trends. No question, still very weak. Home remodeling activity in the first quarter of 2011 was less than 50% of where it was in the first quarter of 2008, right before the sharp downturn in […]

Sustainability taking roots in the housing market

Takeaway: Sustainability is seen as an important driver for homebuilders. Environmental sustainability, in the housing sense, means a new way of driving cost savings with energy conservation and appealing to the eco-friendly lifestyles of younger homebuyers or those going green. In the Green Outlook 2011 report published by McGraw-Hill Construction, government actions – including legislation […]

Homebuilders look elsewhere to make money

Takeaway: Disappointing new home sales is leading builders to diversify.  In the past week, government data on housing starts and permits were not anything to get excited about. Moreover, there were little signs the housing market is any closer to a recovery. At best, we see housing starts flat to up low single-digits in 2011 […]

Homebuilders outlook: glass half full or half empty?

In the past week, there were some positive news releases for the housing market and homebuilders. The government released its April data on new residential sales, and Toll Brothers (TOL 21 ****) posted favorable results for its fiscal second quarter. On May 24, the government put out some of the best new single-family home sales […]

Look Under the Hood to Know Homebuilders ETFs

Takeaway:  ITB is a more concentrated ETF play than XHB regarding homebuilder companies. Before I get to talking about homebuilder ETFs, here are a few words about the 2011 spring selling season for new homes. Not good. I see tepid demand with signs of modest traffic for new homes this season, and think prospective buyers […]

Will spring selling season confirm improved new home sales?

Takeaway: Home sales are up 11% in March versus February, but they are still low historically. I think there still is a low level of conviction that a housing recovery is underway. Whether you look at the most recently published data from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, or government data on housing starts and new […]

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