Home Builder Outlook Slips in June
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Home builder confidence slipped slightly in June after several months of improvement, suggesting that a fragile housing market continues to look for a bottom in a still uncertain economy.
The Housing Market Index (HMI), a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
and Wells Fargo, declined one point to 15 this month.
However, two out of three of the HMI's component indexes were unchanged in June, including the index gauging current home sales, which held at 14, and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers, which held at 13. Meanwhile, the index gauging expectations for the next six months declined a single point, to 26.
The HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months. The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers. 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.
"The outlook for home sales has improved somewhat in recent months, due largely to implementation of the first-time home buyer tax credit and gains in housing affordability," said Joe Robson, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Tulsa, Okla. "However, looking forward, home builders are facing a few headwinds, including expiration of the tax credit at the end of November; a recent upturn in interest rates, and especially the continuing lack of credit for housing production loans."
"As expected, the housing market continues to bump along trying to find a bottom," said David Crowe, NAHB chief economist. "Meanwhile, builders are taking their cue from consumers, who remain uncertain about the economy and their own situation. Builders are also finding it difficult to complete a sale because customers cannot sell their existing homes." Read the full story.