Homebuilder confidence experiences largest one-month gain in a decade
By Kerri Ann Panchuk
• July 17, 2012 • 9:11am
Homebuilder confidence rose six points in July, its steepest one-month increase in over a decade, according to a new report from theNational Association of Home Builders.
NAHB released the Housing Market Index that it compiled in tandem with Wells Fargo ($33.96 0%) on Tuesday. The report shows the Home Price Index reaching its highest point since March of 2007.
The key housing market index gained six points in July, increasing to 35. This is the largest one-month gain recorded by the index in nearly a decade, and brings the HMI to its highest point since March of 2007.
The index evaluates builders' perception of strength when it comes to single-family home sales in the United States.
The indices measuring current sales conditions and prospective homebuyer traffic rose six points to 37 and 29, respectively, on the index. In addition, the index measuring sales expectations for the next six months rose 11 points to a score of 44.
Any number over 50 suggests the majority of builders view conditions in a particular segment of the market as "good".
"Builder confidence increased by solid margins in every region of the country in July as views of current sales conditions, prospects for future sales and traffic of prospective buyers all improved," said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "This is greater evidence that the housing market has turned the corner as more buyers perceive the benefits of purchasing a newly built home while interest rates and prices are so favorable."
Fitch Ratings views the report as highly optimistic when it comes to the fate of homebuilders.
The ratings agency believes single-family housing starts will improve by at least 12% while new home sales will rise 10.5%.
"Housing growth should be slightly more robust next year," Fitch said. "Single-family starts should expand 14%, while new home sales advance 12%."