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Builder Confidence at All-Time High

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) set a new high this month, breaking a record that it set only 30 days earlier. The Index, a measure of builder confidence in the new home market, rose 5 points to 83 in September. A 6-point increase in August had shot the Index to 78, tying it with the previous high set in December 1988.

"Historic traffic numbers have builders seeing positive market conditions, but many in the industry are worried about rising costs and delays for building materials, especially lumber," said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. "More domestic lumber production or tariff relief is needed to avoid a slowdown in the market in the coming months."

"Lumber prices are now up more than 170 percent since mid-April, adding more than $16,000 to the price of a typical new single-family home," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "That said, the suburban shift for home building is keeping builders busy, supported on the demand side by low interest rates. In another sign of this growing trend, builders in other parts of the country have reported receiving calls from customers in high-density markets asking about relocating."

 

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