Strong Buyer Demand Builds Up Builder Confidence

The latest National Home Builders Association/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reported that builder confidence increased in April 2021. For newly-built single-family homes, builder confidence was at an 83 in April.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI surveys builders’ views on how the current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months. The builders’ rate as good, fair or poor. When asked about the traffic seen of prospective buyers, they rate it as high to very high, average or low to very low. Once the data is collected,  scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Today’s market is seeing an 88 for current sales conditions even with the high lumber prices and supply chain problems. For the traffic of prospective buyers, there was a three-point gain to 75. As for the different regions the Northeast was at 86 points, the South at 83 points, the West at 90 points and the Midwest came in at 78 points.

“Despite strong buyer traffic, builders continue to face challenges to add much-needed housing supply to the market,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. “The supply chain for residential construction is tight, particularly regarding the cost and availability of lumber, appliances, and other building materials. Though builders are seeking to keep home prices affordable in a market in need of more inventory, policymakers must find ways to increase the supply of building materials as the economy runs hot in 2021.”

“While mortgage interest rates have trended higher since February and home prices continue to outstrip inflation, housing demand appears to be unwavering for now as buyer traffic reached its highest level since November,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “NAHB’s forecast is for ongoing growth in single-family construction in 2021, albeit at a lower growth rate than realized in 2020.”

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