Homebuilder Sentiment Slips

Home housing residential construction worker builderREUTERS/Larry DowningConstruction workers are pictured building a new home in Vienna, Virginia, outside of Washington, October 20, 2014.

Homebuilder sentiment deteriorated a tiny bit in December.

The NAHB housing market index unexpectedly fell to 57 in December from 58 in November.

Economists had expected a 59 reading.

Still, sentiment is near a 9-year high.

“After a sluggish start to 2014, the HMI has stabilised in the mid-to-high 50s index level trend for the past six months, which is consistent with our assessment that we are in a slow march back to normal,”NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said. “As we head into 2015, the housing market should continue to recover at a steady, gradual pace.”

Here’s some more colour from the NAHB:

…The index gauging current sales conditions fell one point to 61, while the index measuring expectations for future sales dropped a single point to 65 and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers held steady at 45.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West rose by four points to 62 and the Northeast edged up one point to 45, while the Midwest registered a three-point loss to 54 and the South dropped two points to 60.

“Members in many markets across the country have seen their businesses improve over the course of the year, and we expect builders to remain confident in 2015,” NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly said.

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