NAHB Housing Market Index: "Builder Confidence Slips Two Points in July, Remains Solid"

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI) is a gauge of builder opinion on the relative level of current and future single-family home sales. It is a diffusion index, which means that a reading above 50 indicates a favorable outlook on home sales; below 50 indicates a negative outlook.

The latest reading of 64, down 2 from last month's revised number, came in below the Investing.com forecast of 67.

Here is the opening of this morning's monthly report:

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes slipped two points in July to a level of 64 from a downwardly revised June reading on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). It is the lowest reading since November 2016.

“Our members are telling us they are growing increasingly concerned over rising material prices, particularly lumber,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “This is hurting housing affordability even as consumer interest in the new-home market remains strong.”

“The HMI measure of current sales conditions has been at 70 or higher for eight straight months, indicating strong demand for new homes,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, builders will need to manage some increasing supply-side costs to keep home prices competitive.” [link to report]

Here is the historical series, which dates from 1985.

Housing Market Index

The HMI correlates fairly closely with broad measures of consumer confidence. Here is a pair of overlays with the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (through the previous month) and the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index.

HMI and Consumer Sentiment

HMI and Consumer Confidence

The HMI is an interesting prelude to tomorrow's release of Building Permits and Housing Starts.