The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, out Monday, reports that builder confidence in the new single-family home market jumped five points to 76 in December from an upwardly revised November reading, the highest reading since June of 1999.
“Builders are continuing to see the housing rebound that began in the spring, supported by a low supply of existing homes, low mortgage rates and a strong labor market,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn.
“While we are seeing near-term positive market conditions with a 50-year low for the unemployment rate and increased wage growth, we are still underbuilding due to supply-side constraints like labor and land availability,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Higher development costs are hurting affordability and dampening more robust construction growth.”
All three HMI components registered gains in December. The HMI index gauging current sales conditions rose seven points to 84, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months edged up one point to 79 and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers increased four points to 58.
Among the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast fell two points to 61, the Midwest increased five points to 63, the South moved one point higher to 76 and the West rose three points to 84.