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Jim Cramer’s Housing Plays
CNBC.com | February 27, 2012 | 06:10 PM EST

Housing may become a serious driver of the U.S. economy, “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer said Monday.

“Believe it or not, the thrill of owning a home could be making a comeback, particularly if the banks are willing to give that 3.5 percent mortgage to more people if they can put 30 percent down, the preferred method these days,” he said.

Pending home sales in the U.S. rose to nearly a two year high in January, and Warren Buffett thinks the move is sustainable. The billionaire investor told CNBC Monday he’d buy up a couple of hundred thousand single family homes if he could.

So how should you play it?

Cramer would not buy the homebuilders. Instead, he would look to where consumers are spending. That means names like Home Depot, Lowe’s , Stanley Black & Decker, and Pier 1. He also thinks the moves in Whirlpool and Sears, which he believes were exaggerated by short-sellers, “may not be as outrageous as you think.”

Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorpare both “fantastic plays on homes and household creation,” both of which Buffett keeps buying.

“If your home might actually be worth more than what you paid for it, I think we're going to keep seeing spending,” Cramer said. “Who knows? The impact on the stock market’s become palpable, and it could play out positively for months or maybe even years to come.”

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