Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose five points to 29 in May, according to the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index. The improvement brought the index to its highest level since May 2007. Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the NAHB, said builders are reporting a pickup in sales and traffic after a pause in April. According to Rutenberg, it’s a sign that the upward trend in confidence that began earlier this year has resumed and that stabilizing prices and excellent affordability are encouraging people to purchase homes. Each of the component indexes measuring current sales, traffic, and expectations for the next six months rose in May after declining in April. More here.
Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes is twice as strong as it was six months ago and at its highest level since 2007. The latest National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, which measures builders’ expectations and perceptions, was unchanged from last month. Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the NAHB, said builders are still cautious but there’s a sense that many local housing markets have started to move in the right direction and that prospects for future sales are improving. The component gauging builders expectations for sales over the next six months was up for the six consecutive month, rising two points from the month before. Regionally, the Index was up in the Northeast, South, and Midwest but down in the West. More here.
Builder sentiment rose for the fifth consecutive month in February, according to the National Association of Builders’ Housing Market index. The index measures builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes on a scale where any number over 50 means more builders view the market as good than poor. In February, the index rose from 25 to 29 and reached its highest level in more than four years. David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, said this is the longest sustained improvement the index has seen since 2007 but cautioned that the HMI is still low. Still, builder confidence has now doubled since last September. The gauges measuring current sales and expectations for the next six months both rose by five points in February. More here.
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The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index measures builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes. In January, the index rose for the fourth consecutive month and reached its highest level since June 2007. Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said the latest improvements to builder confidence reached every component and region and comes on the heels of several months of gains in single-family housing starts and sales. According to Nielsen, a gradual but steady improvement is beginning to take hold in an increasing number of housing markets nationwide. Component indexes measuring current sales conditions, expectations for the next six months, and traffic of prospective buyers all improved in January. Among regions, the West saw a five point gain while the Northeast index rose by nine points. The South gained two points and the Midwest posted a one point gain over December’s level. More here.
Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey polls Americans each month to assess their attitudes and expectations toward owning a home, renting, mortgage rates, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. In November, 68 percent of respondents said now was a good time to buy a home and, for the first time in six months, surveyed Americans said they expected prices to rise over the next year. Among respondents, 22 percent said they expected price increases over the next 12 months. The average expected increase was 0.2 percent. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s vice president and chief economist, said though home price expectations have become slightly positive, consumers remain concerned about the economy and view their household finances as being relatively flat. When asked whether they’d buy or rent their next home, 63 percent of Americans said they’d prefer to buy. More here.
Clear Capital’s Home Data Index Market Report shows little change in national home prices across quarterly, six month, and yearly time periods. The report, which includes data through November, found a 0.3 increase in quarter-over-quarter values but, most importantly, indicates a level of stability and an end to the recent volatility in prices. Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital, said the overall market stability offers hope that housing markets are settling after two turbulent years. According to Villacorta, there’s been only a one percent drop in national home prices since January and virtually no change in the past six months, which suggests the big shifts in prices may become a thing of the past. More here.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 67.7 from 64.1 in November. It was the fourth consecutive monthly gain and put the index at its highest level since June when it reached 71.1. The improvement is further evidence of an acceleration in economic growth, though analysts note that consumer sentiment typically rises during the holiday season. Still, the uptick in the public’s perception exceeded expectations. The survey, which gauges consumers’ economic outlook, also registered a boost in participants’ optimism about their personal financial situation over the next six months. More here and here.
Using employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home-price appreciation info from Freddie Mac, and Census Bureau estimates on single-family permit growth, the National Association of Home Builders’ Improving Markets Index generates a list of housing markets across the country that are showing signs of economic improvement. In December, the list of improving markets expanded for the fourth consecutive month. The list rose from 30 to 41 and included 20 new additions. Bob Nielsen, NAHB’s chairman, said the increasing number of improving markets, and their geographic diversity, is quite encouraging and evidence that all housing markets are dependent on local factors. In order to be included on the list, a metro area must see improvement in each of the three measures for at least six months. More here.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose four points to 18 in October, the largest one-month increase since April of 2010. The index measures builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes on a scale where any number below 50 indicates more builders view the market as poor than good. David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, said the latest boost in builder confidence is a good sign that some pockets of recovery are starting to emerge across the country. Each of the Indexes three components saw significant gains, with the component gauging sales expectations for the next six months rising seven points to 24. Regionally, the West increased nine points to 21, the highest level since August 2007, while the Midwest and South each recorded four-point increases. More here.
The number of homes for sale at the end of September was down 3.27 percent from August and 20.09 percent from one year previous. According to data released by the National Association of Realtors, the national inventory of single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses, and co-ops fell significantly in the last year, suggesting inventory is returning to seasonal patterns. The data also showed the national year-over-year median price was $190,000, up 1.60 percent from one year ago. After falling following the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit, home prices have remained relatively stable for the past six months. The stability in prices, along with falling inventory, can be viewed as positive indicators for the housing market. More here.