Builder Confidence Jumps Five Points to 50 in May
Washington, DC, May 16, 2023-Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes in May rose five points to 50, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This marks the fifth straight month that builder confidence has increased and is the first time that sentiment levels have reached the midpoint mark of 50 since July 2022.
Limited existing inventory, which has put a renewed emphasis on new construction, resulted in a solid gain for builder confidence in May even as the industry continues to face several challenges, including building material supply chain disruptions and tightening credit conditions for construction loans.
New home construction is taking on an increased role in the marketplace because many homeowners with loans well below current mortgage rates are electing to stay put, and this is keeping the supply of existing homes at a very low level. In March, 33% of homes listed for sale were new homes in various stages of construction. That share from 2000-2019 was a 12.7% average. With limited available housing inventory, new construction will continue to be a significant part of prospective buyers’ search in the quarters ahead.
While this is fueling cautious optimism among builders, they continue to face ongoing challenges to meet a growing demand for new construction. These include shortages of transformers and other building materials and tightening credit conditions for residential real estate development and construction brought on by the actions of the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.