NAHB Housing Market Index: "Builder Confidence Slips Two Points as Lumber Prices Soar"

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 68, down 2 from last month's revised number, came in at the Investing.com forecast.

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

Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell two points to 68 in June on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The decline was due in large part to sharply elevated lumber prices, although sentiment remains on solid footing.

“Builders are optimistic about housing market conditions as consumer demand continues to grow,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “However, builders are increasingly concerned that tariffs placed on Canadian lumber and other imported products are hurting housing affordability. Record-high lumber prices have added nearly $9,000 to the price of a new single-family home since January 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