Builder sentiment increased one point to 76 in September as lumber prices eased and buyer demand grew, according to cnbc.com. It reached a record high of 90 in November 2020.
Any reading above 50 indicates a positive market; the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index had fallen to 30 in April 2020.
Of the homebuilder index’s three components, current sales conditions rose one point to 82; sales expectations in the next six months were unchanged at 81; and buyer traffic increased two points to 61.
“The September data show stability as some building material cost challenges ease, particularly for softwood lumber,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a homebuilder from Tampa, Fla. “However, delivery times remain extended and the chronic construction labor shortage is expected to persist as the overall labor market recovers.”
The biggest challenge for builders during the coming months is expected to be affordability as they are forced to raise prices to keep up with construction costs.