The nation’s homebuilders appear to be more confident about the future of residential construction than they have been in five years of real estate downturn.
January’s index measuring builder confidence reached 25, a place it hasn’t been since June 2007. It was the fourth month of increases in the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.
Officials of the National Association of Home Builders suggest that we not break out the bottles of bubbly yet. “Caution remains the word of the day,” said association chief economist David Crowe, as many of the longstanding problems, including tight credit for buyers and construction, remain unresolved.
That said, mortgage applications were 23.1 percent higher last week than the previous one (adjustments were made for the New Year’s holiday), the Mortgage Bankers Association said today. Refinancings, spurred by falling fixed rates, rose 26.4 percent to its highest level in the last six months.