National builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes increased by 2 points to 21 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for December, released today, marking a third consecutive month in which builder confidence has improved. Confidence was higher than it has been since May 2010, according to the report.
Despite overall gains in confidence, confidence dropped in the Northeast, slipping by one point to 15. Gains were primarily made in the South in December, where a 4-point gain to 25 brought that region’s Housing Market Index score to its highest level since March of 2008. A 1-point gain to 16 was registered in the West, while the Midwest was unchanged at 24.
“While builder confidence remains low, the consistent gains registered over the past several months are an indication that pockets of recovery are slowly starting to emerge in scattered housing markets,” said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “However, the difficulties that both builders and buyers continue to experience in accessing credit for new homes are holding back potential sales even in areas where economic conditions are improving.” — Katherine Clarke