Builders feeling better, but many still see hurdles ahead

By Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily

Builder confidence edged its way higher in September, ending a three-month slump. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rose a single point to 76 in September. The HMI is a measure of home builder attitudes toward the new home sales market.

NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz says, “Builder sentiment has been gradually cooling since the HMI hit an all-time high reading of 90 last November. The September data show stability as some building material cost challenges ease, particularly for softwood lumber. However, delivery times remain extended and the chronic construction labor shortage is expected to persist as the overall labor market recovers.”

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