U.S. Building Confidence Strengthens

In a further show of strength for the housing sector, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes increased two points to 85 in October, further surpassing the previous all-time high of 83 recorded in September, says the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). These are the first two months the index has ever been above 80. “Traffic remains high and record-low interest rates are keeping demand strong as the concept of ‘home’ has taken on renewed importance for work, study, and other purposes in this COVID-era,” says Chuck Fowke, chairman of the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders). “However, it is becoming increasingly challenging to build affordable homes as shortages of lots, labour, lumber, and other key building materials are lengthening construction times.” The HMI index gauging current sales conditions rose two points to 90, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months increased three points to 88, and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers held steady at 74.