Monday, March 16, 2015

NAHB: Builder Confidence decreased to 53 in March

by Bill McBride on 3/16/2015 10:05:00 AM

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 53 in March, down from 55 in February. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

From Reuters: Builder Confidence Drops Two Points in March

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in March fell two points to a level of 53 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today.

“Even with this slight slip, the HMI remains in positive territory and we expect the market to improve as we enter the spring buying season,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.

“The drop in builder confidence is largely attributable to supply chain issues, such as lot and labor shortages as well as tight underwriting standards,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “These obstacles notwithstanding, we are expecting solid gains in the housing market this year, buoyed by sustained job growth, low mortgage interest rates and pent-up demand.”

Two of the three HMI components posted losses in March. The component gauging current sales conditions fell three points to 58 while the component measuring buyer traffic dropped two points to 37. The gauge charting sales expectations in the next six months held steady at 59.
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 56.