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January 2018

Builder confidence hits highest level since mid-1999

Builder confidence for newly-built single family homes soared to its highest level since July 1999, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The gain is attributed to hopes for an improved regulatory environment for firms in the residential construction sector.

The Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family homes sales and sales expectations for the forthcoming six months, rating them as "good," "fair" or "poor."  Builders are also asked to rate traffic of prospective buyers as "high to very high," "average" or "low to very low."

The monthly survey, conducted for the past three decades, is used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three components of the HMI registered gains in December. Buyer traffic rose eight points, to 58 the index measuring current sales conditions improved by four points to 81, and the index charting sales expectations in the next six months increased three points to 79.