Photo: Randy Son Of Robert, Flickr
If you’re a homebuilder, you’re inevitably depressed, and so we don’t usually pay much attention to the homebuilder sentiment survey.But as we’ve talked about a lot here, there’s a chance that housing might make a rebound, if only because it has nowhere to go but up.
Thus today’s NAHB sentiment is noteworth:
Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose four points to 18 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for October, which was released today. This is the largest one-month gain the index has seen since the home buyer tax credit program helped spur the market in April of 2010.
“Builder confidence regained some ground in October due to modest improvements in buyer interest in select markets where economic recovery is starting to take hold and where foreclosure activity has remained comparatively subdued,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev. “That said, confidence remains quite low as builders continue to confront overly restrictive lending policies that are discouraging prospective buyers, problems with new-home appraisals and widespread uncertainty regarding federal support for homeownership.”
“This latest boost in builder confidence is a good sign that some pockets of recovery are starting to emerge across the country as extremely favourable interest rates and prices catch consumers’ attention,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “However, it’s worth noting that while some builders have shifted their assessment of market conditions from ‘poor’ to ‘fair,’ relatively few have shifted their assessments from ‘fair’ to ‘good.’ One reason is that builders are facing downward pricing pressures from foreclosed homes at the same time that building materials costs are rising, and this is further squeezing already tight margins.”
Again, nobody’s saying things are amazing, but you have to put things into perspective. When such a beat up sector is showing any sign of a pulse, it’s good to note.