Builder Confidence Moves into Positive Territory in June

Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes in June rose five points to 55, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. This marks the sixth straight month that builder confidence has increased and is the first time that sentiment levels have surpassed the midpoint of 50 since July 2022.

“Builders are feeling cautiously optimistic about market conditions given low levels of existing home inventory and ongoing gradual improvements for supply chains,” said NAHB Chairman Alicia Huey, a custom home builder and developer from Birmingham, Alabama. “However, access for builder and developer loans has become more difficult to obtain over the last year, which will ultimately result in lower lot supplies as the industry tries to expand off cycle lows.”

“A bottom is forming for single-family home building as builder sentiment continues to gradually rise from the beginning of the year,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “This month marks the first time in a year that both the current and future sales components of the HMI have exceeded 60, as some buyers adjust to a new normal in terms of interest rates. The Federal Reserve nearing the end of its tightening cycle is also good news for future market conditions in terms of mortgage rates and the cost of financing for builder and developer loans.”

In another sign of gradual optimism for the state of demand for single-family homes, the June HMI survey shows that overall, builders are gradually pulling back on sales incentives:

  • 25 percent of builders reduced home prices to bolster sales in June. The share was 27 percent in May and 30 percent in April. It has declined steadily since peaking at 36 percent in November 2022.
  • The average price reduction was 7 percent in June, below the 8 percent rate in December 2022.
  • 56 percent of builders offered incentives to buyers in June, slightly more than in May (54 percent), but fewer than in December 2022 (62 percent).

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for more than 35 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 “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 conditions as good than poor.

All three major HMI indices posted gains in June. The HMI index gauging current sales conditions rose five points to 61, the component charting sales expectations in the next six months increased six points to 62 and the gauge measuring traffic of prospective buyers increased four points to 37.

HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi.

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