Builder confidence still down, but rising

by Ryan Smith17 Jun 2014
Builder confidence was up significantly in June, but more builders are still pessimistic about the market than otherwise.

Confidence in the market for new single-family homes was up four points this month, reaching a level of 49 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. That’s still one point shy of what’s considered good building conditions, according to the NAHB.

"After several months of little fluctuation, a four-point uptick in builder sentiment is a welcome sign and shows some renewed confidence in the industry,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly. “However, builders are facing strong headwinds, including the limited availability of labor.” 

“Consumers are still hesitant, and are waiting for clear signals of full-fledged economic recovery before making a home purchase,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Builders are reacting accordingly, and are moving cautiously in adding inventory.”

The HMI tracks builder perceptions of current home sales and expectations for the next six months, according to the NAHB. Any score above 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Builders in the Northeast had felt the last optimistic, with the region’s score topping out at 34 this month. The South’s regional HMI score edged up a point to 49, while the West held steady at 47. The Midwest fell one point to 46.


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