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Homebuilder Confidence Falls
Still in Positive Territory

Homebuilder Confidence Falls

All four regions of the country experienced a reduction in the amount of optimism that homebuilders have in the current conditions.

In the largest monthly decrease in almost five years, the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo monthly survey of builder confidence shed eight points in November to post a score of 60. While this is still a strong showing, it is the worst month-to-month performance since February 2014.

Almost every category measured in the survey saw a decline led by expectations for sales over the next six months, which took a 10-point hit. Buyer traffic was down eight points and builders' assessment of current sales lost seven points. However, of the three, only the traffic score, at 45, was below the positive threshold of 50.

According to the Wells Fargo Economics Group, "the current reading of 60 would typically be consistent with a much higher level of new home sales than we are currently seeing." They went on to explain that the last time that score was tallied, new home sales were double what they are now. According to the most recent report, builders are reporting that current sales have slowed suddenly and that they have less confidence in future sales.

"The Federal Reserve will likely take note of this morning's number," it stated, and that they "need to ponder the question as to whether or not they would really like to see mortgage rates a quarter of a half percentage point higher than they are today going into the spring 2019 selling season."

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November 17, 2019, 5:58 am PDT

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