This week, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) delivered another good news/bad news combo platter.
The good news: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which measures U.S. home builder sentiment, rose to a score of 25 — the fourth consecutive month of improvement and the highest score since June 2007.
The not-so-good news: A score of 25 still indicates a generally poor sentiment and its down from the 50 score of April 2006 — the last time the index was considered generally favorable.
“Builders are seeing greater interest among potential buyers as employment and consumer confidence slowly improve in a growing number of markets,” David Crowe, chief economist at NAHB, said in a statement. “And this has helped to move the confidence gauge up from near-historic lows in the first half of 2011.”
“”That said, caution remains the word of the day as many builders continue to voice concerns about potential clients being unable to qualify for an affordable mortgage, appraisals coming through below construction cost, and the continuing flow of foreclosed properties hitting the market.”
To view charts and tables from January’s index – including results by region – go here.
If you had to score sentiment (1-100) in your area, what number would you choose? How does that compare to recent months?