The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing-market index rose one point to 47 this month. A gauge of confidence among U.S. home builders ticked up this month but remained close to its lowest level since May 2013, signaling that builders, generally, are pessimistic about sales trends, according to data released Monday.
Housing starts in November, as tracked by the U.S. Commerce Department leapt beyond experts expectations. Single family home starts as well as apartment dwellings contributed to this surge.
If you were to drive around Flagstaff, you’d see that home builders in Flagstaff are contributing. New homes are going up in Flagstaff’s Presidio neighborhood where construction was stopped years ago. Construction continues on the few remaining lots in Ponderosa Trails. Development is in full swing in Anasazi Ridge.
Construction on new U.S. homes nudged up in February with modest gains for single-family homes and apartments, while building permits at best level in more than four years
Encouraging data from the U.S. Commerce Department showed that the new home building industry is getting stronger despite the disappointing confidence data yesterday. The data varied regionally with stronger improvement in the Midwest and actual declines in the Western Region (including Arizona). Still, the trend is in the right direction for the economy.
New home starts for single-family homes rose 0.5% in February to a rate of 618,000, the highest level since June 2008. The data exceeded most economists’ expectations. Previously released January numbers were also revised upwards – this data is often revised and often volatile month-to-month. Applications for new home permits also hit their highest levels since the summer of 2008.
New home construction seems likely to lag demand, which will put upward pressure on home prices – not just for new homes but for resales, where inventory is also very low.
Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an out size effect on the economy because of the labor-intensive nature of home-building (creating jobs). This is why these data are watched so closely by Wall Street.
A gauge of confidence among home builders declined in March to the lowest level since October
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing-market index decreased to 44 in March from 46 in February for a second month of declines. The last time so-called “Builders’ Confidence” index reached above a reading of 50 was in 2006. Readings over 50 indicate that more builders see sales conditions as good than poor.