Home builders continue to express optimism about the housing market, as seen in the latest data released by the National Association of Home Builders.
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, measures home builder sentiment and this month it rose one point to reach a level of 62. That’s the highest level since November of 2005. Any number over 50 on the index indicates that more builders view conditions as good for the new home sector.
The HMI measures buyer traffic, current sales and sales expectations. Two of those three components rose this month. Buyer traffic was up two points to 47, while the component measuring current sales conditions rose one point to 67. The HMI’s sales index score dropped two points from 70 to 68.
On a regional level, the HIM scores for the West and Midwest were each up one point, to 64 and 59, respectively. The South also saw a one-point boost, rising to 64. The Northeast dropped a point to 46.
Single-family housing and specifically the new home sector is making solid progress. However, many home builders are concerned about the availability of lots and a labor force to build the needed new homes in the coming months, but job analyst’ point to those in the oil fields where jobs are diminishing to move to construction, so part of the problem could be self correcting.
NAHB economist David Crowe, said this month’s reading is a good indicator that the market will keep moving forward.
NAHB is projecting about 1.1 million total housing starts this year and the latest report is consistent with their forecast. Barring any unexpected jolts, like another threatened government shutdown by Hollywood East, we can expect housing to keep moving forward at a steady, modest rate through the end of the year.
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