Home builder confidence for the new, single-family home market posted its seventh consecutive month gain, reaching its highest level since May of 2006, according to the November index by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo.
"Builders are reporting increasing demand for new homes as inventories of foreclosed and distressed properties begin to shrink in markets across the country," says NAHB Chair Barry Rutenberg. "In view of the tightening supply and other improving conditions, many potential buyers who were on the fence are now motivated to move forward with a purchase in order to take advantage of today’s favorable prices and interest rates."
The monthly index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales, expectations for the next six months with sales, and buyer traffic.
"While our confidence gauge has yet to breach the 50 mark — at which point an equal number of builders view sales conditions as good versus poor — we have certainly made substantial progress since this time last year, when the HMI stood at 19," says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "At this point, difficult appraisals and tight lending conditions for builders and buyers remain limiting factors for the burgeoning housing recovery, along with shortages of buildable lots that have begun popping up in certain markets."