Builder confidence surges in June
For the first time since April 2006, builder confidence surged past 50 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released Tuesday. This benchmark indicates that builder sentiment is mostly positive regarding market conditions.
The eight-point jump to 52 in June also marked the biggest one-month gain since August and September 2002.
Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.
"Builders are experiencing some relief in the headwinds that are holding back a more robust recovery," said NAHB chief economist David Crowe.
June’s HMI numbers are on track with the forecast for a 29% increase in total housing starts for 2013, according to Crowe.
All three HMI components posted gains in June. The index gauging current sales conditions increased eight points to 56, while the index measuring expectations for future sales rose nine points to 61 — its highest level since March 2006. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose seven points to 40.
The HMI three-month moving average was up in three of the four regions, with the Northeast and Midwest posting a one-point and three-point gain to 37 and 47, respectively. The South registered a four-point gain to 46, while the West fell one point to 48.
HIRI adds to membership list
Stock Building Supply and Masonite are the two newest members of the Home Improvement Research Institute.
The new additions bring membership of the non-profit, research-driven Home Improvement Research Institute to 75.
Stock Building Supply is a Raleigh, N.C.-based pro dealer with 48 retail and distribution locations in 13 states. Masonite, based in Tampa, Fla., is a designer and manufacturer of interior and exterior doors.
Founded in 1981 as the Do-It-Yourself Research Institute, the name changed to the Home Improvement Research Institute in October 1989 to reflect an expansion in its research scope to include the professional remodeler segment of the home improvement market. Its mission is to be recognized as the primary authority for effective, useful information about home improvement products and services in North America.
HIRI is based in Tampa, Fla., and is managed by Lebhar-Friedman, the parent company of HCN.
Housing starts bounce back
Housing starts for the month of May rose 6.8% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000, according to data released Tuesday morning by the Commerce Department. The revised April estimate stood at 856,000.
The May total is 28.6% above the May 2012 rate of 711,000.
Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of 599,000, which is 0.3% above the revised April figure of 597,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 306,000.
Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000. This is 3.1% below the revised April rate of 1,005,000, but is 20.8% above the May 2012 estimate of 806,000.