January's NAHB/Wells Fargo survey stayed at 60 for the month of January, which was as predicted, according to Robert Dietz of the NAHB's Eye On Housing blog.
“After eight months hovering in the low 60s, builder sentiment is reflecting that many markets continue to show a gradual improvement, which should bode well for future home sales in the year ahead,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.
“January’s HMI reading is right in line with our forecast of modest growth for housing,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The economic outlook remains promising, as consumers regain confidence and home values increase, which will help the housing market move forward.”
The reading also was in line with outside projections, according to J.P. Morgan's Michael Rehaut:
The NAHB Builder Survey for January was flat sequentially at 60, in-line with the Street’s outlook for flat (last month was downwardly revised slightly from 61). By component, Present Sales rose 2 points sequentially to 67, roughly offset by Future Sales’ 3 point decline to 63 and Buyer Traffic’s 2 point decline to 44. Importantly, we note that this level remains in the 60-62 range demonstrated from June-December (ex-October’s 65) and we believe fairly reflects the stable to modestly positive backdrop of the current housing market; any level over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. Looking forward, we continue to believe the housing market recovery will unfold over the next 12-18 months at a moderate pace, led by fairly positive fundamentals, as we expect demand to improve, driven by job growth and modestly easing credit conditions.