Monday, August 31, 2015

Home-builder confidence steady but weak in April

0 comments
One sign of the improving economy has been a resurgence in corporate relocations in some parts of the country.
One sign of the improving economy has been a resurgence in corporate relocations in some parts of the country. AP Photo / Chuck Burton

Home-builder confidence inched up this month, but remains shaky as the spring home-buying season gets underway.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, released Tuesday, remained essentially flat in April at 47. A level below 50 means more builders see the market for new, single-family homes as poor rather than good.

March's level was revised down 1 point to 46.

The association's chief economist, David Crowe, said builders are pessimistic for several reasons: tight credit for potential buyers and a short supply of skilled labor and ready-to-build lots. Still, he said, several factors point to "a gradual improvement in housing demand."

More coverage
  • Home prices stabilize; sales numbers increase
  • How do home repairs vary in cost?
  • "Job growth is proceeding at a solid pace, mortgage interest rates remain historically low, and home prices are affordable," he said in a statement.

    Though prices in most markets remain far below those of the bubble days, housing has become increasingly unaffordable for many after rapid price gains last year. That, along with a rise in mortgage rates, has slowed demand and the recovery.

    Traffic from prospective buyers remains weak. That segment of the survey held flat in April, at a very low reading of 32 out of 100.

    Although builders aren't particularly excited now, they're more optimistic about the future, the survey found: The segment gauging expectations for future sales rose 4 points to 57.

    ___

    (c)2014 Los Angeles Times

    Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

    Distributed by MCT Information Services

    Los Angeles Times (MCT)
    0 comments
    We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
    Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

    Comment policy:

    Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

    Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

    Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

    Read 0 comments
     
    comments powered by Disqus