Homebuilder Confidence Hits 12-Year Highs, Matching Pre-Crisis Bubble Levels

From Jill Mislinski: The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index (HMI) is a gauge of builder opinion on the relative level of current and future single-family home sales. It is a diffusion index, which means that a reading above 50 indicates a favorable outlook on home sales; below 50 indicates a negative outlook.

The latest reading of 71, up 6 from last month, came in above the Investing.com forecast of 65 and is currently at a 12-year high.

Here is the opening of this morning’s monthly report:

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped six points to 71 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest reading since June 2005.

“Builders are buoyed by President Trump’s actions on regulatory reform, particularly his recent executive order to rescind or revise the waters of the U.S. rule that affects permitting,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. [link to report]

Here is the historical series, which dates from 1985.

Housing Market Index

The HMI correlates fairly closely with broad measures of consumer confidence. Here is a pair of overlays with the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (through the previous month) and the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index.

HMI and Consumer Sentiment

HMI and Consumer Confidence

The HMI is an interesting prelude to tomorrow’s release of Building Permits and Housing Starts.

The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSE:XHB) was trading at $36.97 per share on Wednesday morning, up $0.19 (+0.52%). Year-to-date, XHB has gained 9.22%, versus a 6.26% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

XHB currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #5 of 45 ETFs in the Consumer-Focused ETFs category.


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