Industry News

Builder confidence ‘quite upbeat’

Two-point dip in monthly gauge does not reflect latest mortgage-rate declines

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Indicating that single-family builders perceive conditions in the new-homes marketplace to be nearly as favorable as they were during last year's record-breaking sales and production activity, the National Association of Home Builders' monthly gauge of builder confidence for January is down just slightly from December and poised to rise again on the latest downshift in mortgage rates. NAHB's Housing Market Index, released today at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas, fell two points to 68 in January – still well ahead of its 64 reading at the start of 2003. "Coming off the best year in history for single-family home sales and production, builders are set for another very busy year in 2004," said NAHB President Kent Conine, a home and apartment builder from Dallas. "There's plenty of momentum in this marketplace." "In all, the outlook is quite upbeat," agreed NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. "Keep in mind that the January HMI survey was taken before the latest d...