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Builder Confidence Hits Yearly High in June

by James Bellandi

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Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in June rose five points to 59 on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). That is the highest level of confidence since Sept. 2014.

“The HMI indices measuring current and future sales expectations are at their highest levels since the last quarter of 2005, indicating a growing optimism among builders that housing will continue to strengthen in the months ahead,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “At the same time, builders remain sensitive to consumers’ ability to buy a new home.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI 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.

All three HMI components posted healthy gains in June. The component gauging current sales conditions jumped seven points to 65, the index charting sales expectations in the next six months increased six points to 69 and the component measuring buyer traffic rose five points to 44.

“Builders are reporting more serious and committed buyers at their job sites, and that is reflected in recent government data showing that new-home sales and single-family construction are gaining momentum,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the South and Northeast each rose three points to 60 and 44, respectively. The West posted a two-point gain to 57 while the Midwest dropped one point to 54.

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