Tuesday, February 18, 2020

NAHB: Builder Confidence Decreased to 74 in February

by Calculated Risk on 2/18/2020 10:04:00 AM

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 74, down from 75 in January. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

From NAHB: Builder Confidence Remains Solid in February

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes edged one point lower to 74 in February, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. The last three monthly readings mark the highest sentiment levels since December 2017.

“Steady job growth, rising wages and low interest rates are fueling demand but builders are still grappling with increasing construction and development costs,” said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon.

“At a time when demand is on the rise, regulatory constraints along with a shortage of construction workers and a dearth of lots are hindering the production of affordable housing in local communities across the nation,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “And while lower mortgage rates have improved housing affordability in recent months, accelerating price growth due to limited inventory may offset some of that effect.”
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The HMI index gauging current sales conditions fell one point to 80, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months was one point lower at 79 and the gauge charting traffic of prospective buyers also decreased one point to 57.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose one point to 63, the Midwest increased one point to 67 and the South moved two points higher to 78. The West fell one point to 83.
emphasis added
NAHB HMI Click on graph for larger image.

This graph show the NAHB index since Jan 1985.

This was slightly below the consensus forecast, but still another very strong reading.