by Bill McBride on 2/15/2017 10:08:00 AM
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 65 in February, down from 67 in January. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.
From NAHB: Builder Confidence Continues to Settle Back to Sustainable Levels in February
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes declined two points in February to a level of 65 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).Click on graph for larger image.
“With much of the decline this month resulting from a decrease in buyer traffic, builders continue to struggle to minimize costs while dealing with supply side challenges such as a lack of developed lots and labor shortages,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Despite these constraints, the overall housing market fundamentals remain strong and we expect to see continued growth this year as some of these concerns are addressed.”
All three HMI components fell in February. The component gauging current sales conditions dipped one point to 71, and the index charting sales expectations in the next six months registered a three-point decline to 73. The component measuring buyer traffic dropped five points to 46.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast fell two points to 50 and the Midwest rose one point to 65. The South dipped one point to 67 and the West held steady at 79 for the third month in a row.
This graph show the NAHB index since Jan 1985.
This was below the consensus forecast of 68, but still another solid reading.