December 1, 2010
Builder Confidence Edges Up

Home builders were a bit more positive about the market for new, single-family homes this month, but not positive enough to get the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index out of the mid-teens.

The HMI rose one point, from 15 to 16, in November from October. Analysts were expecting a reading of 17.

It was driven primarily by a 38% bump in the Midwest. Regionally, the HMI rose 5 points in the Midwest to 18, rose 3 points in the West to 15 and held even at 18 in the South. The index in the Northeast shed 3 points to 13.

The index also was buoyed by hope elsewhere for the next six months, the index for which rose two points to 25 on top of a five-point gain in October. The traffic index moved up a point to 12, and the current conditions index remained stuck at 16.

Referring to the futures index, NABH Chief Economist David Crowe said, "This is the highest that component of the HMI has been since the home-buyer tax-credit program spurred sales activity this spring." He added, however, "The most concerning aspect of the report is that survey participants say they have observed absolutely no improvement in their ability to access credit to build viable new projects. This problem is clearly a roadblock to recovery in many markets."

"Many builders are reporting that while the quantity of buyer traffic through their model homes has not improved dramatically, the quality of that traffic seems to be getting better, meaning that more people appear to be serious about buying in the near future," said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones, a home builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

The HMI is based on an index of 100, with any number below 50 indicating a negative outlook and over 50 a positive view. The index fell below 50 in May of 2006 and has remained there since, bottoming at a low of 8 in January, 2009.

David Goldberg at UBS said in a research note, "We expect volatility in the index through the spring selling season as our most recent channel checks leave us fearful that an absence of buyers that have the requisite down-payment and credit stats might limit any potential bounce."

Source: Big Builder magazine, November 16, 2010

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CFSEI 2010 Tech Notes And Webinars – At A Glance

Technical Publications

  • Updated Technical Note on Welding of Cold-Formed Steel Framing
  • Updated Technical Note on Top Track Load Distribution Members
  • New Technical Note on Local and Distortional Elastic Buckling Loads and Moments for SSMA Stud Sections (publication expected this month)
  • New Technical Note on Steel Roof Deck Diaphragms on CFS Framing  (publication expected this month)
  • New Technical Note on Clip Angles Used in Cold-Formed Steel Construction  (publication expected this month)

Web-Based Seminars

  • Beginners Guide to the Direct Strength Method for Cold-Formed Steel Design
  • Cold-Formed Steel Design using the 2009 International Building Code
  • Cold-Formed Steel Connection Design: 2007 AISI and 2009 IBC

For more information on CFSEI resources, visit

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January 12-15, 2011
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STEEL Doing It Right
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May 23-24, 2011
MASFA Expo & CFSEI Annual Conference
Annapolis, MD



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