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Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes dipped by one point to 14 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for September, which was released on Sept. 19.
The index has now held between 13 and 16 for six consecutive months.
"Very little has changed in terms of housing market conditions so far this year," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen.
"Builders continue to confront the same challenges in accessing construction credit, obtaining accurate appraisal values for new homes and competing against foreclosed properties that they have seen for some time,” Nielsen said.
“Beyond this, both builder and consumer confidence took a hit in recent weeks with the market disruptions caused by the S&P downgrade and congressional gridlock on the budget deficit," he said.
"The fact that the HMI continues to hover within such a narrow, low range reflects builders' awareness that many consumers are simply unwilling or unable to move forward with a home purchase in today's uncertain economic climate," added NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
"While some bright spots are beginning to emerge in about a dozen select metro areas, the broader picture remains fairly bleak due to the weak economy and job market," he said.
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.
Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
Each of the HMI's three component indexes declined in September.
The component gauging current sales conditions slipped one point to 14, while sales expectations for the next six months and traffic of prospective buyers each declined two points, to 17 and 11, respectively.
The Midwest was the only region to post a gain in its HMI score for September, edging up one point to 11.
Meanwhile, the Northeast and South each posted two-point declines to 15 and the West posted a three-point decline to 12.
Register for the NAHB Fall Construction Forecast Webinar, which will provide attendees with up-to-the-minute analysis of the latest housing numbers and market trends right to their desktop. The webinar will be held from 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 26.
Speakers David Crowe, NAHB chief economist; Joel Prakken, senior managing director and co-founder of Macroeconomic Advisers; and Robert Denk, NAHB’s assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis, will address issues affecting the housing industry and the economy — including which housing markets may be improving and why; whether acquisition, development and construction credit becoming more available; and if house prices are back in line with incomes and what it means for housing.
The fee is $29.95 for NAHB members and home builders associations and $49.95 for non-members.
For more information and to register, visit www.nahb.org/cfw.
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