While housing data is still running hot, recently it has hit a bit of a rough patch as indicators like weekly purchase applications have shifted lower (we noted some of the reasons for this in last night’s Closer). This morning’s release of homebuilder confidence gave further pause. The NAHB’s Housing Market Index measuring homebuilder confidence rose by one point to 83 in April. Albeit higher month over month, the index has been in a couple of point range over the past few months and several points off the record high of 90 from November. While that range is still above any levels observed prior to the past year, it shows homebuilders are still optimistic but less so than last year.
Of the three indices contributing to the headline number, Present and Future sales have been a bit stagnant while Traffic has experienced a much more notable rise. That index has risen to 75 which is the highest level since the record of 77 in November. In other words, there still appears to be demand but it is not translating directly into sales.
Breaking down sentiment by geographic region shows varying levels of optimism. Starting with the bad news, sentiment in the Midwest is the worst having fallen without much respite over the past several months. Meanwhile, the Northeast has also continued to pull back but sits just off the record highs of 87 from November and February. The South and West, on the other hand, both rebounded in April but remain further off their prior highs. Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options for our best research available.