Optimism Not Seen Since 1999
Home builder confidence in the new, single-family construction market spiked in the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The Index reading for December was 74, the highest since 1999 and up five points from November. An above-50 reading indicates more builders have a positive outlook than a negative one.
“Housing market conditions are improving partially because of new policies aimed at providing regulatory relief to the business community,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the NAHB, in a statement.
Home builders’ expectations regarding present and expected single-family home sales both rose in December, up four points to 81 and three points to 79, in order, while expected homebuyer traffic rose eight points to 58.
“The HMI measure of homebuyer traffic rose eight points, showing that demand for housing is on the rise,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist of the NAHB, in the statement. “With low unemployment rates, favorable demographics and a tight supply of existing-home inventory, we can expect continued upward movement of the single-family construction sector next year.”
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