Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes remained unchanged at 60 in January from a downwardly revised December reading of 60, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.
While the number remained the same, it still sits at a six-month low, according to Stifel Fixed Income Chief Economist Lindsey Piegza.
“After eight months hovering in the low 60s, builder sentiment is reflecting that many markets continue to show a gradual improvement, which should bode well for future home sales in the year ahead,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a homebuilder from Blue Springs, Missouri.
NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe also commented on the report saying, “January’s HMI reading is right in line with our forecast of modest growth for housing. The economic outlook remains promising, as consumers regain confidence and home values increase, which will help the housing market move forward.”
For the survey, 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 "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."
The HMI component gauging current sales condition slightly increased, growing two points 67 in January.
The index measuring sales expectations in the next six months dropped three points to 63, and the component charting buyer traffic declined two points to 44.
For the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, all four regions recorded marginal declines. The Northeast, Midwest and West each posted a one-point decline to 49, 57 and 75, respectively, while the South fell two points to 61.