NAHB Housing Market Index: "Builder Confidence Climbs to 8-Month High in November"

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 70, up 2 from last month's number, came in above the Investing.com forecast of 68 and is at an eight-month high.

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

“November’s builder confidence reading is close to a post-recession high — a strong indicator that the housing market continues to grow steadily,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald, a home builder and developer from Kerrville, Texas. “However, our members still face supply-side constraints, such as lot and labor shortages and ongoing building material price increases.”

“Demand for housing is increasing at a consistent pace, driven by job and economic growth, rising homeownership rates and limited housing inventory,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “With these economic fundamentals in place, we should see continued upward movement of the single-family housing market as we close out 2017.” [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.