U.S. home builders more optimistic than they’ve been in years

by Ryan Smith18 Sep 2015
U.S. homebuilders continue to be optimistic about the nation’s housing market, according to new data from the National Association of Home Builders.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which measures home builder sentiment, rose a point to reach a level of 62 this month. That’s the highest level since November of 2005. Any number over 50 on the index indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

“The HMI shows that single-family housing is making solid progress,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods. “However, our members continue to tell us that they are concerned about the availability of lots and labor.”

NAHB economist David Crowe said this month’s reading is a good indicator that the market will keep moving forward.

“NAHB is projecting about 1.1 million total housing starts this year,” Crowe said. “Today's report is consistent with our forecast, and barring any unexpected jolts, we expect housing to keep moving forward at a steady, modest rate through the end of the year.”

The HMI measures buyer traffic, current sales and sales expectations. Two of those three components rose this month. Buyer traffic was up two points to 47, while the component measuring current sales conditions rose one point to 67. The HMI’s sales index score dropped two points from 70 to 68.

On a regional level, the HIM scores for the West and Midwest were each up one point, to 64 and 59, respectively. The South also saw a one-point boost, rising to 64. The Northeast dropped a point to 46.



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