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Rising Material Prices and Lot Shortages Hurt January Builder Confidence

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

After setting three successive record highs, most recently a 90 level in November, the pandemic and rising construction costs are taking a toll on the Housing Market Index (HMI). The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said the index, which it sponsors with Wells Fargo, fell for the second straight month. A 3-point drop in the index, which measures builder confidence in the new home market, follows a 4-point decline in December. The January level now stands at 83. "Despite robust housing demand and low mortgage rates, buyers are facing a dearth of new homes on the market, which is exacerbating affordability problems," said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. "Builders are grappling with supply-side constraints related to lumber and other material costs, a lack of affordable lots and labor shortages that delay delivery times and put upward pressure on home prices. They are also concerned about a changing regulatory environment."

 

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