Builder Confidence Virtually Unchanged in January
Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes was virtually unchanged for a fourth consecutive month in January as mortgage-market problems and inventory issues continued to pose challenges, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which was released on Jan. 16.
The HMI rose a single point to 19 this month following a downwardly revised reading of 18 in December and 19 readings in both October and November.
"Builders are taking a realistic view of the continuing housing market correction and doing what they should to get inventories under control and restore greater balance to the supply and demand equation," noted NAHB President Brian Catalde.
"The HMI has held within a narrow two-point range for the past five months, indicating that builder views of housing market conditions essentially haven't changed over that time," said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. "Builders are anticipating a time when market conditions will support an upswing in building activity — most likely in the second half of 2008."
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for more than 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo 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 January, the index gauging current sales conditions for single-family homes remained unchanged at 19, while the index gauging sales expectations for the next six months rose two points to 28. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose one point to 14.
Regionally, the HMI results were mixed in January. The Northeast posted no change at 20, while the Midwest reported a two-point gain to 17 and the South registered a three-point gain to 23. The West posted a five-point decline to an HMI reading of 13.
"We applaud the Federal Reserve's stated willingness to act aggressively to help stimulate the economy through further rate cuts in the coming weeks," noted Catalde. "Congress must also continue its efforts to help resolve the credit crunch and get housing back on track by moving quickly to get a Federal Housing Administration reform bill to the President's desk and accomplish much-needed oversight reform for the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."
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.
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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.