Builder confidence continued its upward streak after a lull in the summer months, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released on Monday.
Confidence rose four points from 76 to 80 in October. It’s the second month of increases after declines in June, July and August. Strong interest in homebuilding has continued due to soaring home prices and lack of available inventory but builder confidence has been curbed by a labor shortage and the rising costs of building materials, according to the new report.
“Homebuilders continue to grapple with supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages that are delaying completion times and putting upward pressure on building material and home prices,” NAHB chairman Chuck Fowke said in a statement.
The index is based on a scale from zero to 100 and gauges builder perceptions of single-family homes sales and sale expectations for the next six months. While drops do indicate falling confidence, anything above 50 is still considered a high number.
“Builders are getting increasingly concerned about affordability hurdles ahead for most buyers,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in a statement.
Current sales conditions rose five points to 87 while prospective buyer traffic rose four points to 65. Sales expectations in the next six months rose 3 points to 84. Every region in the U.S. saw its confidence increase but none as dramatically as Northeast, where it jumped from 67 to 73. All regions in the U.S. saw minor drops in builder confidence but the number are still quite high historically.
While the monthly change is lower, confidence is still at its highest in the West at 85. The South is close behind at 84.