EXCERPT: “Investors looking for a repeat performance from homebuilders in 2018 were quickly brought down to the earth after a wave of volatility sunk the market. Now well off its all-time highs, the sector faces a slew of challenges ahead in rising mortgage rates and surging home prices. That’s a troublesome sign for the economy if real estate takes another leg lower. After all, housing contributes 15% to 18% of GDP across residential investments and consumption spending on housing services, according to the National Association of Home Builders. A pullback here could be the first shot at an otherwise healthy economy and job market . . .The trouble is a potential trade war with China could upend material costs and threaten the profitability of homebuilders. Prices on lumber, copper and other materials needed in a building have already started to climb in response to the rhetoric. Some of those increases are being passed on to buyers.” FULLSTORY: