Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Builders' Confidence At All-Time Low

Home builders see weakest buyer traffic in 23-year history of trade group survey, outlook for future remains at record low as well.
The nation's home builders' confidence in the battered market for new homes fell further in October, and a measure of their outlook remained at a record low level, according to the latest industry survey.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index showed the overall confidence measure sank to 18, the worst reading on record for the 23-year old monthly survey.

The trade group's statement said the problems included decreased availability of subprime mortgages, a glut of new homes available for sale and reports about declining home values.

The builders' expectations for the market six months from now came in with a reading of 26, matching the lowest reading on record that was set in September. And their view of current buyers' traffic fell to a record low reading of 15.

"Builders in the field are reporting that, while their special sales incentives are attracting interest among consumers, many potential buyers are either holding out for even better deals or hesitating due to concerns about negative and confusing media reports on home values," said NAHB President Brian Catalde.

The overall confidence reading reflects the eighth straight month in which that measure has declined. It has fallen sharply, and is down from a very strong reading of 74 only two years ago. A reading of 50 in any of the three measures indicates the number of positive responses from builders is equal to the number of negative responses.
The housing woes continue unabated with the worst still to come. The housing market correction will be very painful for millions but hopefully after the dust settles we will have a market that is both affordable and vibrant. This could not come at a worse time for the Republican party. What accomplishments can they point to over the past eight years? The rich got richer and the poor got poorer, not exactly a 30 second political commercial to sway the masses.

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