Home builder confidence edges higher in July

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) /Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) increased 1 point to 56 in July.

“The lack of resale inventory means prospective home buyers who have not been priced out of the market continue to seek out new construction in greater numbers,” said NAHB Chairman Alicia Huey, a custom home builder and developer from Birmingham, Ala. “At the same time, builders are troubled over rising mortgage rates approaching 7% and continue to grapple with supply-side challenges, including ongoing scarcity of electrical transformer equipment and growing concerns about lot availability.”

“Although builders continue to remain cautiously optimistic about market conditions, the quarter-point rise in mortgage rates over the past month is a stark reminder of the stop and start process the market will experience as the Federal Reserve nears the end of the ongoing tightening cycle,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

The HMI index gauging current sales conditions rose 1 point to 62, the component charting sales expectations in the next six months fell two points to 60 and the gauge measuring traffic of prospective buyers increased three points to 40.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the, the Northeast edged up five points to 52, the Midwest increased two points to 45, the South moved three points higher to 58, and the West posted a five-point gain to 51.

Read the NAHB release.