The National Association of Home Builders released the monthly Housing Market Index today.
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for more than 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index 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.
Excerpts from the Release...
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes held unchanged in September from the previous month's low level of 13. This is an 18 month low.
Regionally, HMI readings fell two points in the Northeast and three points in the Midwest, to 16 and 12, respectively. The South posted a two-point improvement to 14 while the West held unchanged, at 8.
The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers edged down a single point, to 9. Neither the component gauging current sales conditions nor the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months budged in September from their low readings in the previous month, holding at 13 and 18, respectively.
NAHB Chairman Bob Jones says..
"In general, builders haven't seen any reason for improved optimism in market conditions over the past month...If anything, consumer uncertainty has increased, and builders feel their hands are tied until potential home buyers feel more secure about the job market and economy."
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe says...
"The stall in the nation's housing market continues....Builders report that the two leading obstacles to new-home sales right now are consumer reluctance in the face of the poor job market and the large number of foreclosed properties for sale. However, we do expect that moderate improvement in the job market will help boost consumer confidence and improve conditions for new-home sales in this year's final quarter."
This is the same thing the NAHB was saying in January: Home Builders Waiting for Labor Market to Improve. Nervous About Foreclosures