Builders’ confidence in the housing market wobbled in June, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today.
The monthly index, which measures builders’ assessment of buyer traffic as well as current and future sales, dipped one point this month to a reading of 15. “As expected, the housing market continues to bump along trying to find a bottom,” said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist, in a statement.
Things have seemed to be improving recently for the housing market. While foreclosures and distressed sales remain high, first-time buyers have become a major force in both new-home and existing-home transactions.
But the June HMI shows that the housing market is still in a “fragile” state, according to the NAHB. “Looking forward, home builders are facing a few headwinds, including expiration of the tax credit at the end of November; a recent upturn in interest rates; and especially the continuing lack of credit for housing production loans,” said Joe Robson, NAHB’s chairman and an Oklahoma builder.
Builders are concerned about the near future: in June, component of the index measuring sales expectations for the next six months fell one point to a reading of 26. Their assessments of buyer traffic and current sales held steady, at readings of 13 and 14, respectively.
Alison Rice is senior editor, online, at BUILDER magazine.