NAHB Housing Market Index Declines In February

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Peoples Home Equity informs readers of the latest housing data.

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The Northeast is viewed unfavorably probably due to a combination of winter weather conditions and relatively expensive home prices.

On Tuesday, February 16th, the NAHB released its latest Housing Market Index for February which was a disappointing 55. Peoples Home Equity, a Midwest based lender was not so surprised that this figure was below market expectations of a rise to 58. Previously the Housing Market Index was reported at 58 for the month of January.

Just a reminder the Housing Market Index “is based on a monthly survey of home builders. They are asked to rate current sales of single-family homes and sales expectations for the next six months and to rate traffic of prospective buyers” according to TradingEconomics.com. Also an index value “over 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.” A value of just 55 was surprising. Given the higher number of Americans that will get approved for a mortgage this year, Peoples Home Equity was expecting home builders to show a bit more confidence regardless of the winter seasonal slump in real estate.

David Crowe, NAHB Chief Economist said in a statement “For the past eight months, confidence levels have held in the mid- to upper 50s range, which is consistent with a modest, ongoing recovery.” In addition he did comment on the jobs market “Solid job growth, affordable home prices and historically low mortgage rates should help unleash growing pent-up demand and keep the housing market moving forward in the year ahead.”

In terms of subcategories, “the component gauging current sales conditions edged one point low to 61 while the component measuring buyer traffic fell five points to 39.” An unfavorable value of 39 seemed justifiably reflective of the winter season slump. Regionally, the Housing Market Score for “the Northeast fell a single point to 46, and Midwest and South each posted a two-point drop to 54 and 57, respectively. The West rose two points to 68.” Builders have reason to be optimistic regarding the west given strong real estate markets such as San Francisco and Seattle. The Northeast is viewed unfavorably probably due to a combination of winter weather conditions and relatively expensive home prices.

Just a reminder, data being released later this morning includes the latest weekly mortgage applications report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, and housing starts and building permits from the U.S Census Bureau.

If in need of a mortgage, contact a Peoples Home Equity loan officer today at: 262-563-4026

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Giorgio Urbano Ferrero
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