Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell three points to 46 on the September National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released this week, the lowest level since May 2014 with the exception of the spring of 2020.
This is the ninth straight month builder sentiment fell as the combination of elevated interest rates, persistent building material supply chain disruptions and high home prices continue to take a toll on affordability.
“Buyer traffic is weak in many markets as more consumers remain on the sidelines due to high mortgage rates and home prices that are putting a new home purchase out of financial reach for many households,” said NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter, a home builder and developer from Savannah, Georgia. “In another indicator of a weakening market, 24% of builders reported reducing home prices, up from 19% last month.”
All three HMI components posted declines in September. Current sales conditions dropped three points to 54, sales expectations in the next six months declined one point to 46 and traffic of prospective buyers fell one point to 31. Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast fell five points to 51, the Midwest dropped five points to 44, the South fell seven points to 56 and the West posted a 10-point decline to 41, according to the report.
“Builder sentiment has declined every month in 2022, and the housing recession shows no signs of abating as builders continue to grapple with elevated construction costs and an aggressive monetary policy from the Federal Reserve that helped pushed mortgage rates above 6% last week, the highest level since 2008,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “In this soft market, more than half of the builders in our survey reported using incentives to bolster sales, including mortgage rate buydowns, free amenities and price reductions.”
For more information, visit www.nahb.org/hmi.