by Bill McBride on 10/16/2012 10:00:00 AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) increased 1 point in October to 41. Any number under 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good.
From the NAHB: Builder Confidence Edges Higher in October
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes edged slightly higher for a sixth consecutive month in October, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. The latest, one-point gain brings the index to 41, its strongest level since June of 2006.Click on graph for larger image.
“The slight gain in builder confidence this month is an indication that, while still moving forward, the speed at which the housing recovery is proceeding is being moderated by the various constraints such as tight credit, difficult appraisals and more recently, the limited inventory of buildable lots in certain markets,” explained NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “These are the complicating factors that make it difficult for builder confidence to reach and surpass the 50-point mark, at which an equal number of builders view sales conditions as good versus poor.”
Following substantial increases in the previous month, the HMI components measuring current sales conditions and sales prospects for the next six months each remained unchanged in October at 42 and 51, respectively. Meanwhile, the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers increased 5 points to 35, its highest level since April of 2006.
Builder confidence continued to improve in three out of four regions in October. Looking at three-month moving averages, the HMI gained two points in the Midwest and West to 42 and 44, respectively, and three points in the South, to 39. A three-month moving average for the Northeast’s HMI held unchanged at 29.
This graph compares the NAHB HMI (left scale) with single family housing starts (right scale). This includes the October release for the HMI and the August data for starts (September housing starts will be released tomorrow). This was at the consensus estimate of a reading of 41.