November Sees No Rebound in Builder Confidence
Builders polled in November about their assessment of the single-family housing market remained in the doldrums, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which remained unchanged from an upwardly revised reading of 19 in October, the lowest point since the series began in January 1985.
Continuing mortgage market problems, a substantial inventory overhang and negative media coverage all contributed to last month’s low level of builder confidence.
"Consistent with what builders said in last month's survey, many are reporting that their special sales incentives are having limited success in terms of getting buyers in the door," said NAHB President Brian Catalde. Of particular concern, he noted, is that negative media reports are dissuading buyers and fueling unrealistic expectations about home price discounts.
"To be more specific," Catalde said, "builders are worried that the national media has tended to report negative housing stories as if there is one real estate market, when, in fact, there is no such thing — all housing markets are local. As a result, some healthy markets are being unfairly impacted by this negative media coverage."
"The message from today's report is that builders do not see any significant change in housing market conditions as compared to last month," said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. "While they continue to work down inventories of unsold homes and reposition themselves for the market's eventual recovery, they realize it will be some time before market conditions support an upswing in building activity — most likely by the second half of 2008."
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for more than 20 years, the HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales, sales expectations for the next six months and the traffic of prospective buyers. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.
In November, the index gauging current sales conditions for single-family homes remained flat at 18, while the index gauging sales expectations for the next six months declined a single point to 25. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose two points to 17.
Regionally, the HMI results were mixed, with two regions reporting modest gains and two reporting slight declines. The Northeast climbed one point to 27 and the West moved up three points to 18. Meanwhile, the Midwest declined one point to 13 and the South stumbled by two points to 19.
Webcast of NAHB Fall Construction Forecast Available Till Feb. 5
The webcast of the NAHB Fall Construction Forecast Conference held in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 24. is available for purchase through Feb. 5.
The conference webcast includes panels of nationally recognized experts discussing economic trends, government policies, developments in the housing industry and the results from NAHB's recent surveys.
Purchasers will receive unlimited access to the webcast archive though Feb. 5, as well as electronic copies of the conference handouts and presentation material. Purchasers can watch at their own pace, rewind, fast forward and review important sections.
To Purchase the Webcast
To purchase the webcast, visit www.nahb.org/cfcwebcast.
For more information, contact Kate Carrigan at NAHB, or call her at 800-369-5242 x8244.
Want to Know the Housing Forecast for the Top 100 Metros?
Find out in HousingEconomic.com’s 2008 to 2009 Metro Forecast (free preview).
Get the metro forecast with in-depth analysis, overviews and downloadable Excel tables.
To learn more, visit www.HousingEconomics.com.
Free NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips to Navigate the Slowdown
What was once expected to be a relatively mild housing slump following three years of record new home construction and sales has given way to a significant downturn.
To help members navigate the uncharted waters of this slowdown, NAHB has compiled a comprehensive “Back to Basics” online toolkit — the best of the basics, the tried and true and the truly new. To access the toolkit, click here.
To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.
For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.