Homebuilder confidence highest in a decade

July 17, 2015

WASHINGTON (7/17/15)--The National Association of Homebuilders’ monthly housing market index revealed that homebuilder sentiment has risen to its highest level in nearly a decade.

Fueled by the present sales and future sales subindexes, the headline homebuilding confidence gauge reached 60 for the first time since November 2005.

“At 60, the composite index is well above the average of 48 since the series’ inception in 1985,” said John Weis, Moody’s analyst ( July 16).

The present conditions subcomponent rose to 66 from 65, while the future conditions index climbed to 71 from 69.

With the traffic of potential buyers index falling to 43 from 44, Weis said: “Prospective buyer traffic is tepid, but this is in line with its recent performance. Furthermore, although it’s below the neutral threshold of 50, the index is hovering near its highest level this year.”

In line with homebuilder sentiment, average mortgage interest rates rose as well this week.

Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.09% from 4.04%, the highest rate since October (MarketWatch).

On a year-over-year basis the 30-year rate is down from 4.13%.

“The crisis in Greece continues to generate volatility in U.S. Treasury yields,” said Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac chief economist.

The average rate for a fixed-rate 15-year mortgage climbed to 3.25% for the week ending Thursday, up from 3.2% the prior week.

Further, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) increased to 2.96% from 2.93%, and the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM remained at 2.5%.