Builder Confidence Rebounds To All-Time High
The National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index measures builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes. The survey, which has been conducted for the past 35 years, scores builders' responses on a scale where any number above 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor. In August, the index reached a score of 78, which matches its all-time high set in 1998. Robert Dietz, NAHB's chief economist, says the housing market's rebound has been a bright spot during the pandemic. “Housing has clearly been a bright spot during the pandemic and the sharp rebound in builder confidence over the summer has led NAHB to upgrade its forecast for single-family starts, which are now projected to show only a slight decline for 2020,” Dietz said. “Single-family construction is benefiting from low interest rates and a noticeable suburban shift in housing demand to suburbs, exurbs, and rural markets as renters and buyers seek out more affordable, lower density markets.” Among its components, the gauge of current buyer traffic showed the biggest month-over-month improvement, rising eight points to 65 – its highest level ever.