Homebuilder sentiment was strong at the end of 2021 according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is good news for the home building market despite the inflation scares and material shortages. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reported the builder sentiment in the market for newly-built single-family homes moved one point higher to 84 in December.
As for the regions, the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores rose in all of the four regions. Both the West and South saw an increase to 87, and the Northeast and Midwest both were are 74. The seasonally adjusted rates for the four regions were the highest in the South at 89, in the West 87, in the Northeast 79, and in the Midwest at 74.
“While demand remains strong, finding workers, predicting pricing and dealing with material delays remains a challenge,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. “Policymakers need to work on supply chain improvements and controlling costly inflation. Addressing lumber tariffs would be a good place to start.”
“The most pressing issue for the housing sector remains lack of inventory,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Building has increased but the industry faces constraints, namely cost/availability of materials, labor and lots. And while 2021 single-family starts are expected to end the year 24% higher than the pre-Covid 2019 level, we expect higher interest rates in 2022 will put a damper on housing affordability.”