Monday, June 17, 2019

NAHB: "Builder Confidence Solid in June Amidst Growing Economic Uncertainty"

by Calculated Risk on 6/17/2019 10:04:00 AM

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

From NAHB: Builder Confidence Solid in June Amidst Growing Economic Uncertainty

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell two points to 64 in June, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. Sentiment levels have held at a solid range in the low- to mid-60s for the past five months.

“While demand for single-family homes remains sound, builders continue to report rising development and construction costs, with some additional concerns over trade issues,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde.

“Despite lower mortgage rates, home prices remain somewhat high relative to incomes, which is particularly challenging for entry-level buyers,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “And while new home sales picked up in March and April, builders continue to grapple with excessive regulations, a shortage of lots and lack of skilled labor that are hurting affordability and depressing supply.”

All the HMI indices inched lower in June. The index measuring current sales conditions fell one point to 71, the component gauging expectations in the next six months moved two points lower to 70 and the metric charting buyer traffic dropped one point to 48.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast posted a three-point gain to 60 and the Midwest was also up three points to 57. The West held steady at 71 and the South fell a single point to 67.
emphasis added
NAHB HMI Click on graph for larger image.

This graph show the NAHB index since Jan 1985.

This was below the consensus forecast.