In a survey in which most responses were received prior to congressional action to keep an important home buyer incentive alive, builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes remained unchanged at a low level this November, sai the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) held flat at 17 while its component gauging sales expectations for the next six months rose two points from the previous month, to 28.
In a special questions section of the HMI survey, one-third of respondents indicated that they have recently lost sales due to low appraisal values. This is up from a quarter of respondents who indicated as much in a survey taken in July. Builders report that low appraisal values are often tied to the use of foreclosed and distressed properties as "comps" in the appraisal process.
The November HMI was unchanged from October's downwardly revised level of 17. The component gauging current sales conditions and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers also remained unchanged, at 17 and 13, respectively, while the component gauging sales expectations for the next six months edged up two points, to 28.
On a regional basis, HMI results were somewhat mixed in November. The South recorded no change, at 17, while the Midwest posted a three-point decline to 14, the Northeast registered a six-point decline to 19 and the West bounced back five points from a big dip in October to finish at 19.
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