The HMI gauge measuring future sales expectations is running at an eight-month high
Following four consecutive months of not budging either up or down, builder confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes rose two points in June to a level of 60 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest index reading since January.
"Builders in many markets across the nation are reporting higher traffic and more committed buyers at their job sites," said National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Illinois. "However, our members are also relating ongoing concerns regarding the shortage of buildable lots and labor and noting pockets of softness in scattered markets."
"Rising home sales, an improving economy and the fact that the HMI gauge measuring future sales expectations is running at an eight-month high are all positive factors indicating that the housing market should continue to move forward in the second half of 2016," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 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.
NAHB reports that all three HMI components posted gains in June. The component gauging current sales conditions rose one point to 64, the index charting sales expectations in the next six months increased five points to 70, and the component measuring buyer traffic climbed three points to 47.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, NAHB says that the South registered a two-point uptick to 61 and the West rose one point to 68. The Northeast dropped two points to 39 and the Midwest fell one point to 57.
Editor's Note: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is strictly the product of NAHB Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any outside party prior to being released to the public. HMI tables and other data can be found at nahb.org/hmi. More information on housing statistics is also available at housingeconomics.com.