Concerns about the faltering economy and reluctant home buyers pushed builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes down further in January, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). The HMI edged down a single point to a new record low of 8 in January.
NAHB is advocating for an enhanced home buyer tax credit and a government buy-down of mortgage rates for home purchases in 2009, moves that would rejuvenate demand for homes and trigger significant consumer spending across the board.
The NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as "good," "fair" or "poor." All of the HMI's component indexes remained at or near historic lows in January. The index gauging current sales conditions recorded the greatest change, with a two-point decline to 6. Meanwhile, the indexes gauging sales expectations for the next six months and traffic of prospective buyers each rose a single point, to 17 and 8, respectively.
Regionally, the HMI fell one point to 10 in the Northeast, held even at 6 in the Midwest, rose one point to 11 in the South, and fell three points to new record low of 4 in the West in January.
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