Builder confidence rises for the third consecutive month
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes edged up two points to 21 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for December. This marks a third consecutive month in which builder confidence has improved, and brings the index to its highest point since May 2010.
“This is the first time that builder confidence has improved for three consecutive months since mid-2009, which signifies a legitimate though slowly emerging upward trend,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “While large inventories of foreclosed properties continue to plague the most distressed markets and consumer worries about job security and the challenges of selling an existing home remain significant factors, builders are reporting more inquiries and more interest among potential buyers than they have seen in previous months.”
Each of the HMI’s three component indexes registered a third consecutive month of improvement in December. The component gauging current sales conditions rose two points to 22, while the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months edged up one point to 26. The component gauging traffic of prospective buyers gained three points to 18, which is its highest level since May 2008.