Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NAHB: Builder Confidence unchanged in September at 58

by Calculated Risk on 9/17/2013 10:00:00 AM

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was unchanged in September at 58. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.  (August was revised down from 59 to 58).

From the NAHB: Builder Confidence Unchanged in September

Following four consecutive months of improvement, builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes held unchanged in September with a reading of 58 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today.

“Following a solid run up in builder confidence over the past year, we are seeing a pause in the momentum as consumers wait to see where interest rates settle and as the headwinds of tight credit, shrinking supplies of lots for development and increasing labor costs continue,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
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HMI component indexes were mixed in September. While the component gauging current sales conditions held unchanged at 62, the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months declined three points to 65 and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers increased one point, to 47.

All four regions posted gains in their three-month moving average HMI scores in September, including a two-point gain to 41 in the Northeast, a four-point gain to 64 in the Midwest, a two-point gain to 56 in the South and a four-point gain to 61 in the West, respectively.
emphasis added
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 September release for the HMI and the July data for starts (August housing starts will be released tomorrow). This was just below the consensus estimate of a reading of 59.