U.S. Home-Builder Confidence Surges in November to a New High

By Xavier Fontdegloria

 

Home-builder confidence in the U.S. increased in November for the seventh straight month, hitting successive all-time highs over the past three months, according to a measure from the National Association of Home Builders. Here are the report’s main takeaways:

–The association’s housing market index, which gauges the single-family housing market, increased to 90 in November, up five points from October level of 85. A number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

–The reading beats economists’ forecasts from The Wall Street Journal poll, which estimated the index to remain flat at 85.

–November marks the seventh consecutive improvement of the index. The indicator, which registered the biggest ever on-month drop in April, stands currently at its highest level in the 35-year history of the series, shattering the previous all-time highs recorded in September and October.

–“Historically low mortgage rates, favorable demographics and an ongoing suburban shift for home buyer preferences have spurred demand and increased new home sales by nearly 17% in 2020 on a year-to-date basis,” NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said.

–“Another record high for the Housing Market Index reflects that housing is a bright spot for the economy,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. Affordability remains a concern as construction costs rise and interested rates as expected to move higher as more positive news emerges on the coronavirus vaccine front, he said.

–All the HMI indexes posted or matched their highest readings ever in November. The index gauging current sales conditions rose six points to 96, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months increased to 89 from 88 the previous month, and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers rose three points to 77.

 

Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at [email protected]

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 17, 2020 10:14 ET (15:14 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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