Confidence on home builder fell
Tuesday, 19 September 2006
For the eight consecutive month home builder confidence went down.  This was according to the National Association of Home Builders, which the Wells Farge Housing Market Index announced.  It is expected that the market would level out around the middle of next year and begin moving up again in 2008.  At that time, long-term housing fundamentals will be very favorable. In fact, the housing market that emerges from this correction will have better balance between supply and demand and will be able to ride on excellent underlying fundamentals for years to come.

Builders are adopting an increasingly cautious attitude in their near-term outlook for new-home sales. They’re experiencing falling sales, rising sales cancellations, and increasing inventories of unsold units. And although many builders are offering substantial incentives to bolster sales and limit cancellations, many potential buyers now are waiting on the sidelines to see how the market shakes out before proceeding with a home purchase.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 21 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family homes 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 either “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 sales conditions as good than poor.

Two of the three component indexes declined in August. The component that gauges current single-family home sales declined five points to 32, while the component gauging expected sales in the next six months fell four points to 37. The component gauging traffic of prospective buyers remained even from last month, at 22.

The HMI fell in three out of four regions in September. The largest decline was registered in the Northeast, where a six-point drop brought the HMI to 28. The HMI fell five points to 38 in the West and fell three points to 38 in the South. The HMI held steady at 16 in the Midwest, where fundamentally weak economic conditions continue to weigh on the market.


Edwina Baniqued