Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Builder Confidence increases in May

by Calculated Risk on 5/15/2013 10:00:00 AM

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) increased 3 points in May to 44. Any number under 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good.

From the NAHB: Builder Confidence Improves in May

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved three points to a 44 reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for May, released today. This gain, from a downwardly revised 41 in April, reflected improvement in all three index components – current sales conditions, sales expectations and traffic of prospective buyers.
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“While industry supply chains will take time to re-establish themselves following recession-related cutbacks, builders’ views of current sales conditions have improved and expectations for the future remain quite strong as consumers head back to the market in force,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
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All three HMI components posted gains in May. The index gauging current sales conditions increased four points to 48, while the index gauging expectations for future sales edged up a single point to 53 – its highest level since February of 2007. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers gained three points to 33.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, no movement was recorded in the Northeast, Midwest or South, which held unchanged at 37, 45 and 42, respectively. Only the West recorded a decline, of six points to 49 in May.
HMI and Starts Correlation Click on graph for larger image.

This graph compares the NAHB HMI (left scale) with single family housing starts (right scale). This includes the May release for the HMI and the March data for starts (April housing starts will be released tomorrow). This was slightly above the consensus estimate of a reading of 43.