Builder confidence index drops two points

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo joint Housing Market Index dropped two points to 20, tying the index’s record low reached in January 1991.

“Builders are expressing concern that home buyers are getting spooked by the many headlines they are seeing on mortgage market issues and their continuing effects on the housing market and home prices,” said NAHB president Brian Catalde. “Indications are that consumers are trying to time the bottom of the market before making their purchase.”

Scores from three component indexes are used to calculate the seasonally adjusted index, where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

Two out of three component indexes declined in September. The index gauging current single-family home sales declined two points to 20, while the index gauging sales expectations for the next six months fell five points to 26. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers held steady at 16 for the month.

All four regions of the country reported declines in their September housing market index readings. The Northeast posted a three-point decline to 26, while the Midwest posted a single-point decline to 13. The South posted a two-point decline to 22, and the West posted a four-point decline to 18.

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