Builder Confidence Jumps On Single-family Homes

U.S. builder confidence in the newly-built, single-family home market jumped six points to 78 in August on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment. The index is now at the highest level in the 35-year history of the monthly series and matches the record set in December 1998. Builder sentiment plunged to 30 in April, when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the U.S. economy, but it recovered quickly as consumers suddenly sought more space in less urban areas. However, rising lumber prices could slow the market’s momentum this fall. The cost of lumber is soaring not only because of increased demand but because mills shut down in April and May and did not expect to see the kind of strong demand they’re seeing now.