February 22, 2005

WET WEATHER CAUSES SLIGHT DECLINE IN BUILDER CONFIDENCE

The nation's homebuilders continue to remain positive about the strength of the housing market, though above-average precipitation helped push confidence levels down in February, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The seasonally adjusted HMI fell two points to 68 in February. The decline was due to a three-point decrease in the component gauging current sales activity, which posted a reading of 74. Many builders noted that wet weather conditions influenced their responses. The remaining two components of the index, sales prospects for the next six months and buyer traffic, held steady at 78 and 50, respectively.

"The main concern builders are citing right now pertains to availability and pricing of lots for development -- which itself is a symptom of strong buyer demand," said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. "Demand, in turn, continues to be driven by solid job and income growth, low mortgage rates and the investment aspects of homeownership."

Posted by gandlwoods at February 22, 2005 08:50 AM