Builder Confidence Improves in May While Affordability Remains Strong

May 16th, 2013 | Category: Industry News

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved three points to a 44 reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for May. This gain, from a downwardly revised 41 in April, reflected improvement in all three index components—current sales conditions, sales expectations and traffic of prospective buyers.

“While industry supply chains will take time to re-establish themselves following recession-related cutbacks, builders’ views of current sales conditions have improved and expectations for the future remain quite strong as consumers head back to the market in force,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe.

All three HMI components posted gains in May. The index gauging current sales conditions increased four points to 48, while the index gauging expectations for future sales edged up a single point to 53—its highest level since February of 2007. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers gained three points to 33.

The association also announced that housing affordability is holding strong in early 2013.

In all, 73.7 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of January and end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $64,400. This is down slightly from the 74.9 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the final quarter of 2012.

“The bottom line is that, for consumers who can qualify for a mortgage at today’s attractive rates, the majority of homes being sold remain within their grasp in markets nationwide,” said Crowe.

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