Homebuilder Confidence Down in December

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index fell to 56 in December, four points below November’s reading. This is the lowest reading since May 2015.

“We are hearing from builders that consumer demand exists, but that customers are hesitating to make a purchase because of rising home costs,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “However, recent declines in mortgage interest rates should help move the market forward in early 2019.”

All three HMI components declined in December. The component measuring current sales conditions fell six points to 61; the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months declined four points to 61, and the component measuring buyer traffic decreased two points to 43.

The regional three-month moving averages for HMI scores showed declines in all four regions. The Northeast fell eight points to 50, the Midwest declined two points to 55, the South declined three points to 61, and the West fell three points to 68.

Read the NAHB release.

About Jack McCabe

Jack McCabe is a research associate in the Economic Policy and Research group at the ABA.
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