by Bill McBride on 8/15/2017 10:16:00 AM
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 68 in August, up from 64 in July. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.
From NAHB: Builder Confidence Springs Back with Four-Point August Jump
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose four points in August to a level of 68 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).
“Our members are encouraged by rising demand in the new-home market,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “This is due to ongoing job and economic growth, attractive mortgage rates, and growing consumer confidence.”
“The fact that builder confidence has returned to the healthy levels we saw this spring is consistent with our forecast for a gradual strengthening in the housing market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “GDP growth improved in the second quarter, which helped sustain housing demand. However, builders continue to face supply-side challenges, such as lot and labor shortages and rising building material costs.”
All three HMI components posted gains in August. The component gauging current sales conditions rose four points to 74 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months jumped five points to 78. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic increased a single point to 49.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose one point to 48. The West, South and Midwest all remained unchanged at 75, 67 and 66, respectively.
Click on graph for larger image.
This graph show the NAHB index since Jan 1985.
This was above the consensus forecast – a solid reading.