Builders continue to see increases in traffic while still having trouble converting those browsers into buyers, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The index saw an increase of one point in traffic of prospective buyers, moving from 12 to 13 in April. However, the present condition of single-family home sales moved down a point to 16 for the month, and expectations for sales in the next six months also dropped three points to 23.
Any reading below 50 indicates that more of the builders surveyed see sales and projected sales as “poor” rather than “good.” For buyer traffic, a reading below 50 indicates that more builders see traffic conditions as “low to very low” rather than “high to very high.”
The findings reflect what builders across the country have been saying: that traffic has been increasing for the last couple months, but sales remain sluggish, with reasons for the slowness ranging from competition from foreclosures to tight lending to trouble selling existing homes.
As for April’s overall index reading, the Housing Market Index dropped one point to 16, although the entire decline came from the South. While the Northeast and Midwest each gained two points and the West remained flat, the South declined four points to a reading of 15. However, the index’s numbers for April were garnered from a mere 350 survey responses, a sample size too small to be the sole basis of drawing any definitive conclusions.
Claire Easley is senior editor, online, for Builder.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Greenville, SC.