Housing Market Index climbs 2 points
WASHINGTON--Indicating strong and stable builder confidence in the market for new single-family home sales, the National Association of Home Builders' (www.nahb.com) Housing Market Index (HMI) rose 2 points to 60 in March.
"Low interest rates, resilient home values and a stabilizing economy have helped home buyers put whatever fears they might have had following Sept. 11 behind them, which in turn has produced renewed builder optimism," said Gary Garczynski, NAHB president and a builder/developer from Woodbridge, Va.
After falling 9 points to a more than six-year low of 47 in the weeks following the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S., the index gauging builder sentiment rebounded strongly in November, December and January before dropping back 2 points to 58 in February.
"March's 2-point gain in the HMI, which brings the index back up to where it was at the peak of the rebound in January and to the same level as in August, is a testament to the resilience of the American home buyer and of the housing industry," Garczynski said.
Two out of three of the HMI's component indexes rose in March. The index gauging current sales of single-family homes rose three points to 65 while the index gauging sales expectations in the next six months rose two points to 69. Meanwhile, the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers fell two points to 44, the same level at which it stood prior to Sept. 11.
The Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a federation of more than 800 state and local builders associations throughout the U.S. The trade association's mission is to enhance the climate for housing and the building industry, and to promote policies that will keep housing a national priority. Chief among NAHB's goals is providing and expanding opportunities for all consumers to have safe, decent and affordable housing.