Tuesday, August 15, 2006

NAHB: Builder Confidence Slides In August

by Calculated Risk on 8/15/2006 01:14:00 PM

The National Association of Home Builders reports: Builder Confidence Slides In August
Click on graph for larger image.

The HMI declined seven points to 32, its lowest level since February of 1991. This was the seventh consecutive month in which builder confidence, as measured by the index, has fallen.

"Two big factors are coloring builders’ perceptions of the market right now – rising sales cancellations and substantial growth in inventories of both new and existing homes," said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. "These factors are largely the result of an increasing number of potential buyers adopting a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude because of uncertainty about where the housing market is headed, and record-high energy costs also appear to be weighing on housing demand. We’re also seeing an anticipated withdrawal of investors/speculators from the market, following a major influx in 2004-2005."
...
All three component indexes declined in August. The component gauging current single-family home sales fell seven points to 36, while the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers both fell six points, to 40 and 21, respectively.

Regionally, the HMI recorded a three-point decline to 34 in the Northeast, a five-point decline to 15 in the Midwest, a nine-point decline to 41 in the South and a 10-point decline to 42 in the West.

The Housing bust is widespread and getting worse.

UPDATE: For numerologists: In July 1990, the NAHB Index dropped to 32 (the current level) and that was the start of the early '90s recession. The HMI has never before been at or below 32 outside of a recession.