U.S. Builder Sentiment Retreats in October
Oct 17, 2008
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Builder confidence in the U.S. market for new single-family homes receded to a new record low this month. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) declined three points to 14 in October after having edged up slightly in the previous month.

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." The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as "high to very high," "average" or "low to very low." Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

All three component indexes fell this month. The indexes gauging current sales conditions and sales expectations for the next six months each hit new lows, falling three points to 14 and nine points to 19, respectively. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers declined two points, returning to July's record low of 12.

Every region posted declines in builder confidence in October, with four-point declines recorded in the Northeast and South, to 17 and 16, respectively, a three-point decline to 10 registered for the West, and a one-point decline to 14 posted in the Midwest.

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