The National Association of Home Builders said on Tuesday that their index on U.S. homebuilder sentiment fell for a second straight month in February.
“For the past eight months, confidence levels have held in the mid- to upper 50s range, which is consistent with a modest, ongoing recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Solid job growth, affordable home prices and historically low mortgage rates should help unleash growing pent-up demand and keep the housing market moving forward in the year ahead.”
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index, which for 30 years has gauged builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor,” fell to 55 from 57 the month before. Economists polled by Reuters had predicted the index would rise to 58.
Readings above 50 mean more builders view market conditions as favorable than poor. The index has not been below 50 since June 2014.
The single-family home sales component fell to 61 from 62, marking the first drop in the subindex since October. Meanwhile, the gauge of single-family sales expectations for the next six months was flat at 60, while component measuring buyer traffic fell five points to 39 from 44, marking a second straight monthly decline.
Regarding the closely-watched, three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast fell 1 point to 46, while the Midwest and South each shed two-points to 54 and 57, respectively. The West, alone, saw increases, as the region rose two points to 68.