ECON: Housing Market Index Slightly Weaker Than Expected
- Index at 46 vs 48 consensus, 47 last month
- Current Single-Family Home Sales 51 vs 52 last time
- Prospective Buyers Index 32 vs 36 last time
- 6 month outlook 50 vs 49 last time
- Market reaction: mostly "none." The bigger swings in stocks and bonds were 10 minutes before the data and driven by a few quick shots of equities' bullishness. If anything, the weaker-than-expected data gave pause to that momentum, or at the very least, refused to endorse it.
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes was virtually unchanged in February with a one-point decline to 46 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today.
“Following solid gains over the past year, builder confidence has essentially leveled out and held in the same three-point range over the last four months,” noted NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. “This is partly due to ongoing uncertainties about job growth and consumer access to mortgage credit, but it’s also a reflection of the fact that builders are now confronting rising costs for building materials and, in some markets, limited availability of labor and lots as demand for new homes strengthens.”