Tuesday, July 18, 2017

NAHB: Builder Confidence decreased to 64 in July

by Bill McBride on 7/18/2017 10:06:00 AM

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 64 in July, down from 66 in June. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

From NAHB: Builder Confidence Slips Two Points in July, Remains Solid

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes slipped two points in July to a level of 64 from a downwardly revised June reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). It is the lowest reading since November 2016.

“Our members are telling us they are growing increasingly concerned over rising material prices, particularly lumber,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “This is hurting housing affordability even as consumer interest in the new-home market remains strong.”

“The HMI measure of current sales conditions has been at 70 or higher for eight straight months, indicating strong demand for new homes,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, builders will need to manage some increasing supply-side costs to keep home prices competitive.”
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All three HMI components registered losses in July but are still in solid territory. The components gauging current sales conditions fell two points to 70 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months dropped two points to 73. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic slipped one point to 48.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose one point to 47. The West and Midwest each edged one point lower to 75 and 66, respectively. The South dropped three points to 67.
emphasis added
NAHB HMI Click on graph for larger image.

This graph show the NAHB index since Jan 1985.

Note: Both Trump's trade and immigration policies are bad for housing.

This was below the consensus forecast, but still a solid reading.