Friday, February 19, 2010

Builder Confidence Improves in February

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose two points to 17 in February as favorable home buying conditions and signs of healing in the job market helped boost the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

Factors that have helped boost confidence include:

- Continued low interest rates
- Attractive home prices that appear to have stabilized in many markets
- The availability of the home buyer tax credit
- the improving employment market

Several limiting factors are still weighing down builder expectations, including the large number of foreclosed homes on the market, the lack of available credit for new and existing projects, and inappropriately low appraisals tied to the use of distressed properties as comps.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for more than 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months, as well as asking builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers. Regionally, February’s HMI results were mixed. While the Midwest and South each registered two-point gains, to 13 and 19, respectively, the Northeast and West each registered one-point declines, to 19 and 14, respectively.

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