Monday, December 15, 2014

NAHB: Builder Confidence decreased to 57 in December

by Bill McBride on 12/15/2014 10:00:00 AM

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 57 in December, down from 58 in November. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

From the NAHB: Builder Confidence Drops One Point in December

Following a four-point uptick last month, builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell one point in December to a level of 57 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today.

“Members in many markets across the country have seen their businesses improve over the course of the year, and we expect builders to remain confident in 2015,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del.

“After a sluggish start to 2014, the HMI has stabilized in the mid-to-high 50s index level trend for the past six months, which is consistent with our assessment that we are in a slow march back to normal,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “As we head into 2015, the housing market should continue to recover at a steady, gradual pace.”
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Two of the three HMI components posted slight losses in December. The index gauging current sales conditions fell one point to 61, while the index measuring expectations for future sales dropped a single point to 65 and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers held steady at 45.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West rose by four points to 62 and the Northeast edged up one point to 45, while the Midwest registered a three-point loss to 54 and the South dropped two points to 60.
emphasis added
HMI and Starts Correlation Click on graph for larger image.

This graph show the NAHB index since Jan 1985.

This was below the consensus forecast of 59.