Key Highlights

  • Homebuilder confidence for single-family homes soared +5 points to hit 83 in September, according to NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index
  • 83 is highest reading ever in this survey’s 35-year history

The nation’s homebuilders are pinching themselves in ecstasy about off-the-charts consumer demand for new housing. As a result of this soaring demand, the National Association of Homebuilder (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index hit a record all-time high of 83 in September, an increase of 5 points since last month’s all-time high of 78 in August.

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Check out the three index components, also at all-time highs:

  • Current sales condition – 88, up 4 points from August
  • Sales expectation in coming 6 months – 84, up 6 points from August
  • Traffic of prospective buyers – 73. Up 9 points from August

The chief economist of the NAHB, Robert Dietz, said, “The suburban shift for home building is keeping the builders busy, supported on the demand side by low interest rates. In another sign of this growing trend, builders in other parts of the county have reported receiving calls from customers in high-density markets asking about relocating.”

While busy and happy, homebuilders are concerned with the increasingly high cost of lumber, in addition to longstanding concerns around the lack of skilled labor and lack of finished lots. The COVID crisis shut down lumber production in March and April and now the wildfires raging in Washington, Oregon and California have increased lumber prices some +170% since mid-April. Who knows how much those prices will climb after the fires are contained and some sort of supply assessment is possible.

Note that regionally, builder confidence in the Northeast increased 11 points to 76, 9 points to 72 in the Midwest, 8 point to 79 in the South and 7 points in the West to 85.

 

Thanks to CNBC.

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