Home Builder Confidence Sets Record Low in October

So much for a a little budding optimism among the builders, and we can thank the resurgence of a credit crisis that won’t seemingly go away for that. The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) said on Thursday that their joint survey of home builder confidence set a new record low in October after having edged up slightly in the previous month. “Not surprisingly, builder confidence has taken a heavy hit from the recent financial market crisis,” noted NAHB Chairman Sandy Dunn. “We applaud the coordinated government efforts that have been undertaken to try to stem the panic on Wall Street and ease the impacts on Main Street, and we stand ready to support additional efforts to help stabilize housing and the national economy going forward.” “Undoubtedly, today’s HMI reflects builder assessments of the recent events on Wall Street, the rapid deterioration in job markets and the corresponding weakness in consumer confidence,” noted NAHB chief economist David Seiders. Barely after lauding the passage of a $7,500 tax credit, however, the builders are already back in the handout line, clamoring for more. Various published reports have suggested the builders are now lobbying for as much as $25,000 in tax breaks for home buyers. “This report provides clear evidence that an additional economic stimulus package is needed, including a substantial incentive to spur home buying,” said Seiders, presumably with a straight face. “The impacts of the record-breaking housing contraction have spilled over to other key sectors of the economy and weighed heavily on financial markets, and stabilizing housing is now the best chance we have to limit the severity of recession.” Disclosure: The author held no relevant positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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