“This is the first time the HMI has been above 50 since April 2006, and surpassing this important benchmark reflects the fact that builders are seeing better market conditions as demand for new homes increases,” said Rick Judson, NAHB chairman. “With the low inventory of existing homes, an increasing number of buyers are gravitating toward new homes.”
The eight-point jump in the index was the biggest one-month gain since August and September of 2002, when the HMI recorded a similar increase of eight points.
“Builders are experiencing some relief in the headwinds that are holding back a more robust recovery,” said David Crowe, NAHB chief economist. This jump in the HMI “is consistent with our forecast for a 29 percent increase in total housing starts this year, which would mark the first time since 2007 that starts have topped the 1 million mark.”
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 25 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
For more information, visit www.nahb.org/hmi.
Publication date: 6/17/2013