US Home-Builder Confidence Remained At High Level in February

Cornelia Mascio
Febbraio 18, 2018

New home builders are looking ahead, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says this optimism was reflected in its Housing Market Index (HMI) for February.

Regionally, the Midwest index rose two points to 72, the South saw a one-point rise to 74, the West remained unchanged at 81 and Northeast fell two points to 56. Figures above 50 mean more builders see conditions as good rather than bad.

"Builders are excited about the pro-business political climate that will strengthen the housing market and support overall economic growth", said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La.

At the same time, mortgage rates have been increasing in recent weeks and could become a headwind, and rising material prices and shortages of labor remain hurdles for builders.

The National Association of Realtors reported that in December its pending home sales index increased for the 3rd month running. The measure of the six-month sales outlook climbed 2 points to 80, the highest since 2005.

Meanwhile, the index measuring buyer traffic held steady at 54, and the component gauging current sales conditions edged down to 78 in February from 79 in January. The rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.38% in the week ended Thursday, according to Freddie Mac, up from the previous week's 4.32% rate.

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