by Bill McBride on 5/18/2015 10:04:00 AM
Monday, May 18, 2015
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 54 in May, down from 56 in April. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.
From the NAHB: Builder Confidence Falls Two Points in May
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in May dropped two points to a level of 54 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. It is a nine-point increase from the May 2014 reading of 45.Click on graph for larger image.
“Consumers are exhibiting caution, and want to be on more stable financial footing before purchasing a home,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “On the bright side, the HMI component measuring future sales expectations has been tracking upward all year, mortgage rates remain low, and house prices are affordable. These factors should spur the release of pent-up demand moving forward.”
The index’s components were mixed in May. The component charting sales expectations in the next six months rose one point to 64, the index measuring buyer traffic dropped a single point to 39, and the component gauging current sales conditions decreased two points to 59.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the South and Midwest each rose one point to 57 and 55, respectively. The Northeast fell by one point to 41 and the West dropped three points to 55.
This graph show the NAHB index since Jan 1985.
This was below the consensus forecast of 57.