Housing stocks are companies that are involved in the building of homes and condominiums for sale to the retail public. With real estate being such a large part of an economy, housing stocks are an important gauge of the strength of the economy. Some housing stocks can get into trouble if they become over-leveraged, taking on too much debt to try and increase their revenue and earnings. Housing stocks are very susceptible to shifts in interest rates and changes to the job market. When rates are lowered and more jobs are being created, this is a favorable environment for housing stocks. Conversely, when interest rates are rising and jobs are being lost, this can create a negative environment for housing stocks.