Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Builder Confidence Index Rises in September to 6-Yr. High, With Largest 12-Month Gain in History

From today’s report from the National Association of Home Builders:
September 18, 2012 – 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).  This latest three-point gain brings the index to its highest reading since June of 2006 (see chart above).

“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.”

“Builders across the country are expressing a more positive outlook on current sales conditions, future sales prospects and the amount of consumer traffic they are seeing through model homes than they have in more than five years,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, against the improving demand for new homes, concerns are now rising about the lack of building lots in certain markets and the rising cost of building materials. Given the fragile nature of the housing and economic recovery, these are significant red flags.”
MP: The increase in the builder confidence index in September to a six-year high of 40 is a remarkable recovery from a reading of only 14 a year ago.  The 24-point improvement in builder confidence over the last year is the largest 12-month gain in the history of the HMI going back to 1985, and surpasses the previous record of a 24-point annual gain in early 1992.

13 Comments:

At 9/18/2012 11:13 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I have the hardest time understanding this indicator. It is a diffusion index, which means anything under 50 would signal contraction. However, the housing construction industry is steadily improving, and has been so for some time. While the rate of change is signalling this, the actual Index itself is not.

It really is quite interesting. Maybe home-builders are just pessimistic by nature.

 
At 9/18/2012 11:36 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

They weren't pessimistic ten years ago! If I had to guess...I think they're having a harder time with financing and local governments are shaking them down more because tax revenue has declined. At least that's what I'm piecing together from the conversations with the guy who built our house.

Where we should see improvement, we get regulatory push back and fees.

 
At 9/18/2012 11:37 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

jon-

i do not think it is a diffusion index.

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2012/09/nahb-builder-confidence-increases-in.html

this piece has a great chart that graphs this index against housing starts which are still scraping along near the lows.

not sure about lag here etc.

 
At 9/18/2012 2:11 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

It really is quite interesting. Maybe home-builders are just pessimistic by nature.

I guess having more than a million of unsold homes sitting in inventory looking for a chance to hit the market after the election has a way of making them pessimistic in the aftermath of one of the biggest bubbles in American history. Usually it takes more than four or five years in the aftermath of a bubble to repair the damage.

 
At 9/18/2012 2:37 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

i do not think it is a diffusion index.

You are right. It is a confidence index set up like a diffusion. Thank you for catching me.

Still, this kind of goes to show my point about how...fickle confidence indexes can be. According to this index, more homebuilders view the market as poor than good. However, the numbers do not support that.

It is most interesting.

This is why I like data that measures actual things as opposed to perceptions. What people say are not often what they do.

 
At 9/18/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"This is why I like data that measures actual things as opposed to perceptions. What people say are not often what they do."

So you have little confidence in confidence indexes?

 
At 9/18/2012 2:48 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

So you have little confidence in confidence indexes?

Hahah yep

 
At 9/18/2012 3:05 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


This is why I like data that measures actual things as opposed to perceptions. What people say are not often what they do.

well, in this case we can look at housing starts, that have, thus far, not tracked upward at anyhting like the rate the confidence index has.

that said, this confidence index, while up a lot, is still very low by historical standards.

perhaps, while better, it is not yet good enough to drive a significant recovery in actual housing starts.

 
At 9/18/2012 4:01 PM, Blogger rjs said...

"the housing market index (HMI) increased 3 points in September to 40. Any number under 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as poor than good."



 
At 9/18/2012 8:00 PM, Blogger Anny Choo said...

Because concepts style was the most popular brand in the world of design and become section chief. Let seem to come from new sales of boots and Ferragamo Handbag in the early years, these 12 months.

http://www.ferragamobagsale.com

 
At 9/18/2012 8:24 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Ya, that is real remarkable. An oldie but goodie from 5+ years ago.

The subprime mortgages didn't bring the economy down. They were a factor, yes, but not the sole cause.

 
At 9/18/2012 8:24 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Really, they were more of a symptom than a cause.

 
At 9/18/2012 9:13 PM, Blogger Tom E said...

I am surprised it is that high with the election looming.

Given it is a confidence poll does the polling ask for any qualifying reasons the builders feel the way they do?

 

Post a Comment

<< Home