Builders’ attitudes about the housing market remain nearly the same since September. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index starts the New Year at 57, down one point from an upwardly revised December of 58. Builders remain relatively optimistic about the current market as the component gauging current home sales remained at 62 from a one point upwardly revised value. Builders did reduce their expectations for the next 6 months to an index value of 60 down four points from a one point downwardly revised December reading. The traffic component also fell two points to 44 from a one point upwardly revised value.
Regional three-month moving average values were up in three of the four Census regions by two points in the Northeast to 47, three points to 57 in the Midwest and four points to 66 in the West. The South experienced a two point fall to 58. The West scored the highest index value since April 2006 and the Northeast is at the highest since May 2006.
The steady course for the overall index is indicative of the stable but relatively modest improvement rate in housing production exhibited in the last six months. Builders see improvement in demand but hesitancies remain as economic growth varies across markets. Retirement communities and remodeling continue to do well. NAHB expects a ramp up in demand and single-family construction as the pent up demand from years of below normal home sales is released.