STEEL FRAMING ALLIANCE | FRAMEWORK ONLINE
April 2, 2008

MARKETPLACE

Builder Confidence Remains Unchanged In March
Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes remained unchanged in March, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The HMI held firm at 20, which is near its historic low of 18 set in December of 2007 (the series began in January of 1985).

“Our surveys confirm what I’ve been hearing personally from builders across the country, which is that interested buyers are out there, but they are either reluctant to go ahead with a home purchase or they are unable to find mortgage financing they can afford,” said NAHB President Sandy Dunn, a home builder from Point Pleasant, W. Va.

“NAHB applauds the Federal Reserve’s aggressive actions over the weekend in response to escalation of financial market pressures, and we strongly encourage the Fed to ease monetary policy substantially when the Federal Open Market Committee meets tomorrow,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders.

“With the deepening problems in today’s economy and financial markets, Congress and the Administration should enact additional stimulative measures, and the next round should be directed squarely at the housing sector,” he added. “A temporary home buyer tax credit, FHA modernization and GSE oversight reform are the three most important things that Congress can accomplish right now to help ensure that housing does not drag the economy into a full-blown recession. Provided that the necessary actions are taken promptly, a housing market recovery most likely would take shape by the second half of this year.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for more than 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as either “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

Two out of three of the HMI’s component indexes were unchanged in March from the previous month. The index gauging current sales conditions for newly built single-family homes held firm at 20 while the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers stayed at 19 following a significant gain in February. The index gauging sales expectations for the next six months edged downward by a single point to 26.

Regionally, the HMI was mixed, with the Northeast posting a two-point decline to 21, the Midwest holding even at 16, the South reporting a two-point gain to 26 and the West showing a one-point decline to 15.

Source: NAHB, March 17, 2008

         
Next Article >> Top ^

 

HEADQUARTERS
 

Steel Framing Alliance
1201 15th St., NW,
Suite 320
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone 202.785.2022
Fax 202.785.3856

 
UPCOMING EVENTS
April 30-May 2, 2008
Steel-Doing It Right
Charlotte, NC More
 
May 11-13, 2008
NAHB National Building Conference
New Orleans, LA More
 
May 13-17, 2008
American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention
Boston, MA More
 


 
 


Become a Member | Hotline 1-800-79-Steel

Brought to you by the Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) on the first Wednesday of each month, Framework Online arms you with the latest news and commentary on the steel framing and construction industries. In addition to industry headlines, trends and project profiles, Framework Online provides information and ideas that will better enable members to increase their participation in the residential and commercial construction markets.