Market for New Homes Still Flat on the Ground

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says its monthly survey of builders’ confidence in the new home market showed a decline of one point from August’s rating of 15. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) has not gone above 16 nor dropped below 13 in six straight months, indicating very little change in builders perception of the market for the year. (A rating of 50 or above indicates builders are more confident than not.) NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen said, “Both builder and consumer confidence took a hit in recent weeks with the market disruptions caused by the S&P downgrade and congressional gridlock on the budget deficit.” Added NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe, “”While some bright spots are beginning to emerge in about a dozen select metro areas, the broader picture remains fairly bleak due to the weak economy and job market.” Now in its 20th year, the survey is based upon builders’ current work and expectations for the coming six months. Regionally, only the Midwest gained, increasing one point to 11. The Northeast, South and West all saw 2-3 point declines.

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