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Builder Confidence Dips by One Point

Phil Hall
Feb 18, 2020
Photo credit: Getty Images/photovs

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes was slightly lower this month, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which tracked a single-point decline to a 74 reading. However, NAHB also pointed out that the last three monthly HMI readings marked the highest sentiment levels since December 2017.
 
The HMI index gauging current sales conditions was down by one point to 80, while the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months was one point lower at 79 and the gauge charting traffic of prospective buyers also took a one point slide to 57. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast and Midwest rose one point to 63 and 67, respectively, while the South moved two points higher to 78. The West was the regional contrarian, falling one point to 83.
 
“At a time when demand is on the rise, regulatory constraints along with a shortage of construction workers and a dearth of lots are hindering the production of affordable housing in local communities across the nation,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “And while lower mortgage rates have improved housing affordability in recent months, accelerating price growth due to limited inventory may offset some of that effect.”

 
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