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NAHB: Builder Confidence Decreased to 77 in April, "Housing Market at Inflection Point"

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by Calculated Risk on 4/18/2022 10:06:00 AM

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 77, down from 79 in March. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

From the NAHB: Housing Market at Inflection Point as Builder Confidence Continues to Fall

Rapidly rising interest rates combined with ongoing home price increases and higher construction costs continue to take a toll on builder confidence and housing affordability.

Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes moved two points lower to 77 in April, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. This is the fourth straight month that builder sentiment has declined.

“Despite low existing inventory, builders report sales traffic and current sales conditions have declined to their lowest points since last summer as a sharp jump in mortgage rates and persistent supply chain disruptions continue to unsettle the housing market,” said NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter, a builder and developer from Savannah, Ga. “Policymakers must take proactive steps to fix supply chain issues that will reduce the cost of development, stem the rise in home prices and allow builders to increase production.”

“The housing market faces an inflection point as an unexpectedly quick rise in interest rates, rising home prices and escalating material costs have significantly decreased housing affordability conditions, particularly in the crucial entry-level market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

The HMI index gauging current sales conditions fell two points to 85 and the component charting traffic of prospective buyers posted a six-point decline to 60. The gauge measuring sales expectations in the next six months increased three points to 73 following a 10-point drop in March.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast posted a one-point gain to 72 while the Midwest dropped three points to 69, the South fell two points to 82 and the West edged one-point lower to 89.
emphasis added

Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the NAHB index since Jan 1985.

This was at the consensus forecast, and still a solid reading.

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