WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 - Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes edged slightly higher for a sixth consecutive month in October, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. The latest, one-point gain brings the index to 41, its strongest level since June of 2006.
"Many builders are reporting increases in the number of serious buyers visiting their sales offices, and the overall confidence measure is much higher than it was at this time last year," noted NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "The concern is that, even though demand for new homes is rising, overly tight credit conditions are still constraining new building and new purchases at a time when that kind of economic activity and the job growth it generates are greatly needed."
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 - Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose for a fifth consecutive month in September to a level of 40 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. This latest three-point gain brings the index to its highest reading since June of 2006.
"This fifth consecutive month of improvement in builder confidence provides further assurance that the housing market is moving in a positive direction, but there's still a long way to go on the road to recovery and several obstacles are slowing our progress," said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "In particular, unnecessarily tight credit conditions are preventing many builders from putting crews back to work - which would create needed jobs -- and discouraging consumers from pursuing a new-home purchase."
Housing remains a bright spot in an economy where consumer spending dropped nearly a percentage point in the second quarter and a looming year-end fiscal cliff is haunting the financial markets, Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group said Tuesday.
The group released its August 2012 Economic Outlook, which shows housing doing well with residential investment projected to contribute at least 0.2 percentage points to real gross domestic product in 2012. If that does occur, it will be residential real estate's first contribution to annual GDP since 2005.
WASHINGTON, AUG. 15 - Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved for a fourth consecutive month in August with a two-point gain to 37 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. This gain builds on a six-point increase in July and brings the index to its highest level since February of 2007.
"From the builder's perspective, current sales conditions, sales prospects for the next six months and traffic of prospective buyers are all better than they have been in more than five years," said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "While there is still much room for improvement, we have come a long way from the depths of the recession and the outlook appears to be brightening."
By Kenneth Harney, syndicated columnist, The Seattle Times
WASHINGTON — Though many home shoppers who assume they are still in a buyer's market find it hard to believe, one of the sobering fundamentals shaping real estate this summer is shrinking inventory: The supply of houses for sale is down significantly in most areas compared with a year ago, sometimes dramatically so.
And that is having important side impacts — raising prices and homeowners' equity stakes, and reducing total sales.
WASHINGTON, July 18 - Nationwide housing production rose by 6.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000 units in June, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the fastest pace of new-home construction since October of 2008.
"This good report is in keeping with the results of our latest builder confidence survey, in which many of our members said that they are seeing an influx of more serious buyers to the new-homes market this summer," observed Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "What's especially encouraging is that, as consumers realize the advantages of purchasing a newly built home while prices and interest rates are so favorable, builders are able to put more crews back to work on construction sites across the country. This in turn is helping spur local economic growth, and policymakers need to be very careful to not take any steps that would derail the beginnings of such a positive trend at this crucial time."