Tuesday, September 17, 2019

NAHB: "Builder Confidence Hits Yearly High in September "

by Calculated Risk on 9/17/2019 10:05:00 AM

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 68 in September, up from 67 in August. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

From NAHB: Builder Confidence Hits Yearly High in September

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose one point to 68 in September from an upwardly revised August reading of 67, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. Sentiment levels have held in the mid- to upper 60s since May and September’s reading matches the highest level since last October.

“Low interest rates and solid demand continue to fuel builders’ sentiments even as they continue to grapple with ongoing supply-side challenges that hinder housing affordability, including a shortage of lots and labor,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.

“Solid household formations and attractive mortgage rates are contributing to a positive builder outlook,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, builders are expressing growing concerns regarding uncertainty stemming from the trade dispute with China. NAHB’s Home Building Geography Index indicates that the slowdown in the manufacturing sector is holding back home construction in some parts of the nation, although there is growth in rural and exurban areas.”

The HMI index gauging current sales conditions increased two points to 75 and the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers held steady at 50. The measure charting sales expectations in the next six months fell one point to 70.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast posted a two-point gain to 59, the West was also up two points to 75 and the South moved one point higher to 70. The Midwest was unchanged at 57.
emphasis added
NAHB HMI Click on graph for larger image.

This graph show the NAHB index since Jan 1985.

This was above the consensus forecast.