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Home builder confidence in the new, single-family construction market has stopped short of positive momentum, down to its lowest level since November in the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The Index reading for July was 64. An above-50 reading indicates more builders have a positive outlook than a negative one.

“Our members are telling us they are growing increasingly concerned over rising material prices, particularly lumber,” said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the NAHB, in a statement. “This is hurting housing affordability, even as consumer interest in the new-home market remains strong.”

Home builders’ expectations regarding present and expected single-family home sales both fell in July, down to 70 and 73, in order, while expected homebuyer traffic fell to 48.

“The HMI measure of current sales conditions has been at 70 or higher for eight straight months, indicating strong demand for new homes,” said Robert Dietz, chief economist of the NAHB. “However, builders will need to manage some increasing supply-side costs to keep home prices competitive.”

Source: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

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