The National Association of Home Builders reported Monday that its index of builder sentiment, compiled jointly with Wells Fargo, fell for the third straight month in March, following eight straight months of gains. While home prices are up, and many builders are seeing elevated demand, builders are being hindered by legislative delays in developing lots as well as rising costs for labor and building materials. In addition, many potential buyers are unable to qualify for credit to buy new homes because of lenders' demands for high credit scores or down payments.
Since the onset of America's worst economic downturn since the 1930s, the economy has been in a state of constant recovery. Manufacturing, consumer spending and other parts of the economy have shown signs of solid growth at times, but a couple of US economic sectors have lagged behind: housing and the labor market. Based on recent reports, however, it seems as if both sectors are finally gaining some momentum. To put an even more positive spin on things, the housing recovery actually drives improvement in the labor market, as new homes require workers to build them, so the trend is likely to gain even more steam.
The US Commerce Department reported Wednesday that US housing starts surged to their highest level in over three years in June. Economists took the news as further evidence that the housing market is finally starting to improve after holding back the broader economic recovery since the sector collapsed six years ago, triggering the worst US economic downturn since the 1930s. In year-over-year terms, builders began constructing new single-family homes at a seasonally adjusted annualized pace of 760,000, 24 percent higher than last June's pace. It was a nearly 7 percent gain over May's revised figure. The gain also exceeded the consensus estimate of economists in a recent Reuters poll, who were expecting a 745,000 pace, on average.
The National Association of Home Builders gave the long-struggling US housing market a boost Tuesday when its index of builder confidence, a joint venture with Wells Fargo, showed sentiment among the nation's builders reached a five-year high this month. The reading exceeded even the most optimistic projection offered by economists in a recent Bloomberg survey, which averaged 26. The reading reported on Tuesday was 29 for this month, a full five points ahead of the revised reading for April.
Homebuilder DR Horton issued its fiscal second-quarter results Monday, surpassing Wall Street expectations in both earnings and revenue as Americans cautiously returned to the new home buying market. Shares of the Fort Worth, Texas home builder nonetheless fell over 2 percent in the first few hours of trading Monday amid a broad-based market decline.
The National Association of Home Builders reported Monday that builder confidence in the US retreated to a three-month low this month as the US housing market continues to struggle for equilibrium. Builders had grown slightly more confident in the last few months as the economy added an average of 240,000 jobs a month between December and February, but that trend retreated as the economy added far fewer jobs in March, reviving concerns about the strength of the economic recovery.
US homebuilder sentiment held steady this month at its highest level since June 2007, disappointing analysts who had projected a slight increase. The National Association of Home Builders / Wells Fargo Housing Market Index came in at a reading of 28, identical to the reading for the previous month after a downward revision from an initially reported reading of 29 for February. Economists in a recent Bloomberg survey were expecting the index to climb to 30, on average.
Home builder sentiment rose to its highest level in nearly five years this month, a clear sign of improvement for an industry trying desperately to climb out of a deep slump. The National Association of Home Builders reported Wednesday its index of builder sentiment rose to 29 this month from a reading of 25 in January. The gain was the fifth consecutive monthly improvement in the index and brought the index to its highest level since May 2007, before the industry fell into its slump.
US constructions spending rose at its fastest pace in four months in December, reflecting growing optimism among builders that the worst is behind the industry. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that building outlays increased 1.5 percent last month, the largest such increase since August. The news was particularly encouraging given that economists in a recent Bloomberg survey were expecting s gain of just 0.5 percent.
US home builders are feeling more optimistic about the housing market than they have in over four years, according to the National Association of Home Builders / Wells Fargo home builder sentiment index, released Wednesday. The gauge rose to 25 this month as sales and buyer traffic have shown signs of growth in recent weeks. The reading is the highest since June 2007 and exceeded the average estimate of analysts in a recent Bloomberg survey, but the NAHB was quick to point out that a reading below 50 means that more builders continue to view conditions as poor than good.