The National Association of Home Builders
has released its housing market index, a gauge of homebuilder confidence.
The index came in at 55, below economist expectations of 57.
September’s 58 print was revised down a point, to 57. Any reading over 50 means that builders believe conditions are good.
“Builder optimism remains above 50 and we are still seeing signs of pent-up demand in many markets across the country,” NAHB Chairman Rick Judson said in a statement. “This slight dip in builder sentiment is the result of continuing challenges in the marketplace with regard to the cost and availability of labour and lots and uncertainty in Washington”
“The pace of housing starts has not been keeping up with increases in sentiment in recent months, and, as a result, we expect sentiment to taper off a bit until we see a stronger pickup in construction activity,” Barclays wrote to clients last week.
Since the FOMC’s decision to not taper its asset purchasing program in September, mortgage rates have dipped, which may spur some buyers to “pull the trigger,” according to Wells Fargo. “However, with increased turmoil in Washington weighing on the outlook, it would not be surprising to see builder confidence dip in October.”