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Builder Confidence Improves In November

November 16, 2006

Builder Confidence Improves In November Suggesting stabilizing conditions in the nation’s single-family housing market, home builder confidence in November edged up for the second consecutive month, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. The HMI gained two points from the previous month to stand at 33. “More and more builders are seeing light at the end of the tunnel,” said NAHB President David Pressly, a home builder from Statesville, N.C. “Our members are telling us that the market is steadying after a significant downward correction. On the demand side, we look for sales to stabilize and gradually move up in the coming months.” “With home prices leveling off, mortgage interest rates remaining near historic lows, energy prices declining and the economy continuing to generate solid growth in employment and household income, affordability is now on the mend and many consumers recognize that home buying conditions have improved,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. “Builders are picking up on this change in market momentum.” Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for almost 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as either “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. All three component indexes moved higher in November, including a one-point gain in the current sales index, to 33. The component gauging sales expectations for the next six months rose four points to 46 and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers moved up three points from last month, to 26. “Looking ahead, builder outlook is perking up,” said Pressly. “With builders continuing to offer significant sales incentives and affordability on the rise, home shoppers have greater opportunities today than they have had for several years, making this an opportune time to buy.” On a regional basis, the HMI for builders in the Northeast rose two points to 37 and posted a two-point gain in the South, to 40. The HMI for builders in the Midwest and West declined by two points to 16, and by one point to 34, respectively.

Source: NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index

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