Category Archives: Builder Confidence Index

Builder Confidence Slips Three Points in April

Builder Confidence Slips Three Points in April

by Robert Dietz — Eye on Housing

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes declined for the first time in seven months this April, sliding three notches to 25 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, released today. The decline brings the index back to where it was in January, which was the highest level since 2007.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 25 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Each of the index’s components registered declines in April. The component gauging current sales conditions and the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months each fell three points, to 26 and 32, respectively, while the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers fell four points to 18. (Note, the overall index and each of its components are seasonally adjusted.)

Regionally, the HMI results were somewhat mixed in April, with the Northeast posting a four-point gain to 29 (its highest level since May of 2010), the West posting no change at 32, the South posting a three-point decline to 24 and the Midwest posting an eight-point decline to 23.

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NAHB Builder Confidence index unchanged in March

NAHB Builder Confidence index unchanged in March

by CalculatedRisk on 3/19/2012  

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports the housing market index (HMI) was unchanged in March at 28 (February was revised dwon from 29). Any number under 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good.

From the NAHB: Builder Confidence Unchanged in March 

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes was unchanged in March from a revised level of 28 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. This means that following five consecutive months of gains, the HMI is now holding at its highest level since June of 2007.

“While builders are still very cautious at this time, there is a sense that many local housing markets have started to move in the right direction and that prospects for future sales are improving,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Florida. “This is demonstrated by the fact that the HMI component measuring builder expectations continued climbing for a sixth straight month in March, to its highest level in more than four years.”

“Builder confidence is now twice as strong as it was six months ago, and the West was the only region to experience a decline this month following an unusual spike in February,” observed NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “That said, many of our members continue to cite obstacles on the road to recovery, including persistently tight builder and buyer credit and the ongoing inventory of distressed properties in some markets.”

While the HMI component gauging current sales conditions declined one point to 29 in March, the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months gained two points to 36 and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers held unchanged at 22.

HMI and Starts CorrelationClick on graph for larger image.

This graph compares the NAHB HMI (left scale) with single family housing starts (right scale). This includes the March release for the HMI and the January data for starts (February housing starts will be released tomorrow).

Both confidence and housing starts had been moving sideways at a very depressed level for several years – but confidence has been moving up recently, and it appears starts are increasing a little too.

This is still very low, but this is the highest level since June 2007.

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