Builder confidence remains strong despite slip

by Steve Randall18 Jan 2018
Builders’ confidence in the market for single-family homes hit an 18-year high in December but things were slightly less optimistic as the new year began.

The National Association of Home Builders says that its confidence index slipped 2 points in January to 72 despite builders feeling that tax code reforms will help the small business sector and boost economic growth.

“The HMI gauge of future sales expectations has remained in the 70s, a sign that housing demand should continue to grow in 2018,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “As the overall economy strengthens, owner-occupied household formation increases and the supply of existing home inventory tightens, we can expect the single-family housing market to make further gains this year.”

Looking at the individual components of NAHB’s index, there was a 1 point decrease in confidence in current conditions (78), the same for sales expectations for the next 6 months (78) and a 4 point drop for buyer traffic (54).

The Northeast remains the region with the lowest confidence (59) but saw the largest rise (5 points) while confidence also grew in the other three regions: West up 2 points to 81; South up 1 point to 73; Midwest up 1 point to 70.

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