Homebuilder confidence unchanged in April as builders 'remain cautiously optimistic'

Dive Brief:

  • The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index remained unchanged in April at a score of 58 — the same mark it reached in March — the NAHB reported Monday.
  • Within the index, the NAHB reported that builders' expectations for sales inched up one point to 62, and predictions for buyer traffic rose one point to 44. However, builder sentiment regarding current sales conditions slipped two points to 63.
  • April's results didn't quite meet economist predictions, as they expected builder confidence to rise one point to 59 this month, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Dive Insight:

The NAHB said the results reinforce the "slow but consistent" path toward recovery for the residential construction industry. "Builders remain cautiously optimistic about construction growth in 2016," NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in a release. "Solid job creation and low mortgage interest rates will sustain continued gains in the single-family housing market in the months ahead."

However, the stagnant nature of the index during the spring buying season reinforces concerns of the lack of available land and labor, which have been consistently cited as the main factors holding the market back from stronger growth.

Still, market reports last month were mostly positive, as builder confidence held steady at a score of 58, housing starts rose 5.2% in February, new single-family home sales increased 2.0%, and pending home sales grew 3.5%. However, on the negative side, existing home sales dropped 7.1% in February.

The HMI marks the first in the line of housing market reports for the month, with housing starts released Tuesday, existing home sales on Thursday, new home sales on April 25, and pending home sales on April 27.

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Filed Under: Residential Building Economy
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