Homebuilder sentiment for July saw a modest bounce, rising from 64 up to 65 compared to expectations for a reading of 64. While sentiment has seen a nice improvement from its late 2018 low, builders are nowhere near as optimistic right now as they were right before the GOP tax bill — which limited mortgage deductions and SALT deductions — was signed into law.
Present and Futures Sales, as well as Traffic, saw equal and modest gains in July, but sentiment on a regional basis was bifurcated. Both the Midwest and Northeast saw declines in sentiment while sentiment in the West was up sharply and sentiment in the South saw a modest bounce. Like the headline index, most regional indices of sentiment are still well off their cycle highs, but the Northeast is an exception as it just hit a cycle high in the prior month. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our premium economic indicator analysis and everything else we have to offer.