Builder Confidence Rose Five Points to 83 in September
Washington, DC, September 16, 2020-In a strong signal that housing is leading the economic recovery, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased five points to hit an all-time high of 83 in September, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
The previous highest reading of 78 in the 35-year history of the series was set last month and also matched in December 1998.
“Historic traffic numbers have builders seeing positive market conditions, but many in the industry are worried about rising costs and delays for building materials, especially lumber,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom homebuilder from Tampa, Florida. “More domestic lumber production or tariff relief is needed to avoid a slowdown in the market in the coming months.”
“Lumber prices are now up more than 170% since mid-April, adding more than $16,000 to the price of a typical new single-family home,” said NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz. “That said, the suburban shift for home building is keeping builders busy, supported on the demand side by low interest rates. In another sign of this growing trend, builders in other parts of the country have reported receiving calls from customers in high-density markets asking about relocating.”