Home Builders End the Year More Upbeat
Home builders are getting more optimistic over the single-family home market, specifically over current sales conditions, sales expectations, and prospective buyer traffic, according to the December reading of the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.
“Following a two-month pause in the index, this uptick is due in part to release of the pent-up demand caused by the uncertainty generated by the October government shutdown,” says David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist. “We continue to look for a gradual improvement in the housing recovery in the year ahead.”
The overall index rose four points in December to a 58 reading. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
“This is definitely an encouraging sign as we move into 2014,” says Chairman Rick Judson, NAHB chairman. “The HMI is up 11 points since December of 2012 and has been above 50 for the past seven months. This indicates that an increasing number of builders have a positive view on where the industry is going.”
The builder sentiment gauge measuring sales conditions increased six points in December to 64, and the gauge measuring future sales ticked up two points to 62. Builder sentiment over prospective buyer traffic increased three points to 44.