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18.11.2019 23:11

U.S. builder confidence worsens slightly in November

The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) announced on Monday its housing market index (HMI) fell one point to 70 in November from an unrevised October reading of 71.

Economists had forecast the HMI to stay at 71.

A reading over 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Two out of the three HMI components were lower this month. The indicator gauging current sales conditions decreased two points to 77, while the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers fell one point to 53. At the same time, the measure charting sales expectations in the next six months rose one point to 77.

NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde noted: “Single-family builders are currently reporting ongoing positive conditions, spurred in part by low mortgage rates and continued job growth. In a further sign of solid demand, this is the fourth consecutive month where at least half of all builders surveyed have reported positive buyer traffic conditions.”

Meanwhile, NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said: “We have seen substantial year-over-year improvement following the housing affordability crunch of late 2018, when the HMI stood at 60. However, lot shortages remain a serious problem, particularly among custom builders. Builders also continue to grapple with other affordability headwinds, including a lack of labor and regulatory constraints.”


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