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Builder Confidence Improves,
But Remains Pessimistic

Two out of the Housing Market Index's three components registered gains in November. The current sales conditions metric increased eight points to 49 - its highest mark in more than six years. The component measuring sales expectations for the next six months held above 50 for a third consecutive month, with a two-point gain to 53, and the component measuring prospective buyer traffic was unchanged at 35, following a five-point gain in October.

Continuing growth in new single-family home sales fueled a substantial increase in the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which reached 46 in November. This is a strong showing following October's HMI of 41.

This indicates that nearly one half of surveyed homebuilders are positive about future sales of single-family houses. The HMI had reached its low point in the midst of the housing bust in January 2009 with a score of eight, and is now higher than at any point in more than six years.

The NAHB also reported that national single-family home sales in September were nearly 30 percent above the September 2011 rate, though sales remained approximately one-half of 2007 levels.

The National Association of Realtors also reported that single-family houses continued to dominate existing house sales, garnering approximately 88 percent of sales in October. The single-family housing market is likely to keep improving, as long as the larger economy continues in a positive direction.

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December 11, 2019, 1:10 pm PDT

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