Washington, DC, Sept. 17, 2013 -- Following four consecutive months of improvement, home builder confidence held unchanged in September with a reading of 58 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.
“While builder confidence is holding at the highest level in nearly eight years, many are reporting some hesitancy on the part of buyers due to the sharp increase in interest rates,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C.
“Home buyers are adjusting to the fact that, while mortgage rates are still quite favorable on a historic basis, the record lows are probably a thing of the past.”
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said, “Following a solid run up in builder confidence over the past year, we are seeing a pause in the momentum as consumers wait to see where interest rates settle and as the headwinds of tight credit, shrinking supplies of lots for development and increasing labor costs continue.”
HMI component indexes were mixed in September. While the component gauging current sales conditions held unchanged at 62, the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months declined three points to 65 and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers increased one point, to 47.
All four regions posted gains in their three-month moving average HMI scores in September, including a two-point gain to 41 in the Northeast, a four-point gain to 64 in the Midwest, a two-point gain to 56 in the South and a four-point gain to 61 in the West, respectively.