news.cuna.org/articles/Homebuilder_confidence_stumbles_in_Feb

Homebuilder confidence stumbles in Feb.

February 17, 2015

WASHINGTON (2/18/15)--Homebuilder confidence waned in February, as the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) housing market index fell 2 points to a four-month low of 55 (Economy.com Feb. 17).

The future single-family sales subindex remained at 60, while the present single-family sales index retreated by one point to 61.

Prospective-homebuyer traffic in February took a five-point dive to 39, which is the lowest reading since July 2014.

"Most, including Moody's Analytics, thought homebuilder sentiment would be unchanged in February, making Tuesday's two-point decline a small surprise," said John Weis IV, Moody's analyst (Economy.com).

"(But) the composite index now rests at 55, well above the average of 48 since the series' inception in 1985," Weis added. "Although homebuilders are not as exuberant as they were during the housing bubble, the index is hovering near the 66 it averaged between 2003 and 2005."

The NAHB in its report cited that heavy snowfall largely contributed to the downturn, meaning that the index will likely rebound as the weather warms.

Further, homebuilders appear to still view current and upcoming sales conditions as favorable, as each subindex remains above 60.

By region, the Northeast posted its first gain in three months, rising to 48, the South held steady at 46, the West declined slightly and remains the most optimistic region, and the Midwest took a substantial step back to 49.