Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes is at an 18-year high, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB
)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). With a five-point uptick brining the HMI to a level of 74 for December, the index is at its highest level since July 1999.
All three HMI components were on the rise: the component measuring buyer traffic rose eight points to 58, the index gauging current sales conditions increased four points to 81 and the index charting sales expectations in the next six months took a three-point leap to 79. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Midwest climbed six points to 69, the South rose three points to 72, the West increased two points to 79 and Northeast inched up a single point to 54.
“The HMI measure of home buyer traffic rose eight points, showing that demand for housing is on the rise,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “With low unemployment rates, favorable demographics and a tight supply of existing home inventory, we can expect continued upward movement of the single-family construction sector next year.”