Home builder confidence remains at multi-month lows, according to a new report by the National Association of Home Builders. The NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index remained at 13 in September, tying the August reading for the worst showing since March 2009. The NAHB polled 447 builders in September. “In general, builders haven’t seen any reason for improved optimism in market conditions over the past month,” said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones.
At 13, the index remains far below the 50 line that indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. There hasn’t been a reading above 50 since April 2006. The worst reading was 8 in January 2009. Consumer reluctance and the glut of foreclosed homes on the market are the two leading obstacles to new-home sales, said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist.
Regionally, builders in the West are the gloomiest, with their subindex a miserly 8, while builders in the Northeast are relatively more optimistic, as their HMI reading was 16.