Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes held steady at 60 in January from a downwardly revised December reading of 60, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
The January HMI reading is in line with NAHB’s forecast of modest growth for housing. NAHB expects growth in 2016 for the single-family, multifamily, and remodeling sectors of the residential construction industry as continued job growth supports demand for housing.
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
The HMI component gauging current sales condition rose two points 67 in January. The index measuring sales expectations in the next six months fell three points to 63, and the component charting buyer traffic dropped two points to 44.
With respect to the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, all four regions registered slight declines. The Northeast, Midwest and West each posted a one-point decline to 49, 57 and 75, respectively, while the South fell two points to 61.
For more information, the HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi.
Maybe I’m just a pessimist, but 60 seems awfully optimistic to me. I’d expect that to start declining anytime now but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.