Another month of builder insecurity

By Vincent Salandro | Builder

Builder confidence fell for the eighth consecutive month in August as elevated interest rates, supply chain problems, and high home prices continued to exacerbate housing affordability challenges, according to the NAHB.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), measuring builder sentiment in the market for newly built single-family homes, fell six points in August to 49. The index has fallen in every month of 2022 after reaching its peak level of 84 in December 2021. August marks the first time since May 2020 that the index reading has fallen below the break-even measure of 50, according to the NAHB.

“Ongoing growth in construction costs and high mortgage rates continue to weaken market sentiment for single-family home builders,” says NAHB chairman Jerry Konter. “And in a troubling sign that consumers are now sitting on the sidelines due to higher housing costs, the August buyer traffic number in our builder survey was 32, the lowest level since April 2014 with the exception of the spring of 2020 when the pandemic first hit.”

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