Wednesday, January 17, 2018

NAHB: Builder Confidence decreased to 72 in January

by Bill McBride on 1/17/2018 10:04:00 AM

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 72 in January, down from 74 in December. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

From NAHB: Builder Confidence Remains Strong as New Year Starts

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes dropped two points to a level of 72 in January on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) after reaching an 18-year high in December 2017.

“Builders are confident that changes to the tax code will promote the small business sector and boost broader economic growth,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “Our members are excited about the year ahead, even as they continue to face building material price increases and shortages of labor and lots.”

“The HMI gauge of future sales expectations has remained in the 70s, a sign that housing demand should continue to grow in 2018,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “As the overall economy strengthens, owner-occupied household formation increases and the supply of existing home inventory tightens, we can expect the single-family housing market to make further gains this year.”
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The three HMI components registered relatively minor losses in January. The index gauging current sales conditions dropped one point to 79, the component charting sales expectations in the next six months fell a single point to 78, and the index measuring buyer traffic fell four points to 54.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West rose two points to 81, the South increased one point to 73, the Midwest inched up a single point to 70 and Northeast climbed five points to 59.
emphasis added
NAHB HMI Click on graph for larger image.

This graph show the NAHB index since Jan 1985.

This was slightly below the consensus forecast, and a strong reading.