Builder Confidence Treads Water in March

March 17th, 2014 by DWM Magazine

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose one point to 47 on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

“A number of factors are raising builder concerns over meeting demand for the spring buying season,” says NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “These include a shortage of buildable lots and skilled workers, rising materials prices and an extremely low inventory of new homes for sale.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for 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.

The index’s components were mixed in March. The component gauging current sales conditions rose one point to 52 and the component measuring buyer traffic increased two points to 33. The component gauging sales expectations in the next six months fell one point to 53.

The three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores all fell in March. The Northeast dropped three points to 35, the Midwest fell three points to 53, the South posted a four-point decline to 49 and the West registered a two-point drop to 61.

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