Builder confidence levels unchanged
The National Association of Home Builders announced today that their Housing Market Index (HMI) which measures builder confidence for new construction of single family homes remained stagnant, dropping only one point, marking over a year of relatively unchanged HMI levels.
Current sales, sales expectations for the next six months and prospective buyer traffic are measured by the HMI study, with sentiment regarding all three dropping very slightly in September. Regionally, however, the Midwest did post a gain of confidence for September, but only by one point, while the South and Northeast dropped two points and the West dropped three.
“Very little has changed in terms of housing market conditions so far this year,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen. “Builders continue to confront the same challenges in accessing construction credit, obtaining accurate appraisal values for new homes, and competing against foreclosed properties that they have seen for some time. Beyond this, both builder and consumer confidence took a hit in recent weeks with the market disruptions caused by the S&P downgrade and congressional gridlock on the budget deficit.”
“The fact that the HMI continues to hover within such a narrow, low range reflects builders’ awareness that many consumers are simply unwilling or unable to move forward with a home purchase in today’s uncertain economic climate,” said NAHB Chief Economist, Dr. David Crowe. “While some bright spots are beginning to emerge in about a dozen select metro areas, the broader picture remains fairly bleak due to the weak economy and job market.”