Builder Confidence Down Four Points in December
Washington, DC, December 17, 2018-Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell four points to 56 in December on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) as concerns over housing affordability persist.
Although this is the lowest HMI reading since May 2015, builder sentiment remains in positive territory.
“We are hearing from builders that consumer demand exists, but that customers are hesitating to make a purchase because of rising home costs,” said NAHB chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, Louisiana. “However, recent declines in mortgage interest rates should help move the market forward in early 2019.”
All the HMI indices posted declines. The index measuring current sales conditions fell six points to 61, the component gauging expectations in the next six months dropped four points to 61, and the metric charting buyer traffic edged down two points to 43.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Midwest dropped two points to 55; the West and South both fell three points to 68 and 65, respectively; and the Northeast registered an eight-point drop to 50.