WASHINGTON, DC — Indicating that home builders generally see positive conditions in the market for new single-family houses, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI) rose one point to 61 in July from the previous month. The HMI has held within two points of a favorable 60 reading since the beginning of this year, the association noted.

"Low interest rates and the solid investment potential of homeownership are proving to be powerful incentives for new-home buyers, and builders are seeing solid demand for homes in most markets," said Gary Garczynski, NAHB president and a builder/developer from Woodbridge, VA. "Emphasizing the market's stability, the component of the HMI that measures builder confidence in current sales hasn't budged from a very good 65 reading for the last five months."

The HMI is derived from a monthly survey of builders that NAHB has been conducting for nearly 20 years. Scores for responses to each component are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

"The single-family housing market should continue providing good support to the economy this year, particularly when the impacts of home price appreciation on household wealth and consumer spending are considered," stated David Seiders, NAHB chief economist. He said that the association’s forecasts indicate new-home sales for 2002 should reach 934,000 units, up nearly 3% from last year's record pace.

Publication date: 07/15/2002