The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 81, down from 83 in April. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.
From the NAHB: Rising Material Challenges, Declining Builder Sentiment
Rising material prices and supply chain shortages resulted in builder confidence dipping to its lowest level since August 2020. The latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today shows that builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes fell two points to 81 in June. Despite the monthly decline, the reading above 80 is still a signal of strong demand in a housing market lacking inventory.
“Higher costs and declining availability for softwood lumber and other building materials pushed down builder sentiment in June,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke. “These higher costs have moved some new homes beyond the budget of prospective buyers, which has slowed the strong pace of home building. Policymakers need to focus on supply-chain issues in order to allow the economic recovery to continue.”
“While builders have adopted a variety of business strategies including price escalation clauses to deal with scarce building materials, labor and lots, unavoidable increases for new home prices are pushing some buyers to the sidelines,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Moreover, these supply-constraints are resulting in insufficient appraisals and making it more difficult for builders to access construction loans.”
All three of the major HMI indices posted declines in June: current sales conditions fell two points to 86; sales expectations in the next six months posted a two-point decline to 79; and traffic of prospective buyers dropped two points to 71.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores: the South rose one point to 85; the West fell one point to 89; the Midwest dropped three points to 72; and the Northeast posted a five-point decline to 78.
This graph show the NAHB index since Jan 1985.
This was below the consensus forecast, but still a very strong reading – and lumber prices have fallen sharply recently.