Pro-business political climate buoys builder confidence in February

by Francis Monfort20 Feb 2018

Builders remained confident in February on expectations that the housing market will become strong given the pro-business political climate, according to the Housing Market Index (HMI) released by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo.

Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes remained unchanged at a healthy 72 level during the month.

“Builders are excited about the pro-business political climate that will strengthen the housing market and support overall economic growth,” NAHB Chairman Randy Noel said. “However, they need to manage supply-side construction hurdles, such as shortages of labor and lots and building-material price increases.”

“The HMI gauge of future sales expectations has reached a post-recession high, an indicator that consumer demand for housing should grow in the months ahead,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. “With ongoing job creation, increasing owner-occupied household formation, and a tight supply of existing home inventory, the single-family housing sector should continue to strengthen at a gradual but consistent pace.”

The index also recorded increase two-point increase in the component charting sales expectations in the next six months to 80. Meanwhile, the index gauging buyer traffic held steady at 54, and the component gauging current sales conditions dropped one point to 78.

An index level above 50 shows more builders think conditions are good than poor.

Most regions posted increases in the three-month moving averages for HMI scores, with the exception of the Northeast region’s two-point decline to 56. The Midwest rose two points to 72, the South increased one point to 74, and the West remained unchanged at 81.

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