Homebuilder confidence in housing market conditions dipped two points in January; ongoing challenges including labor shortages and materials costs were cited by the National Association of Home Builders, which provides monthly readings on home builder sentiment. Three component readings of the Housing Market Index declined by one point each. Readings for current sales conditions, housing market conditions for the next six months and for buyer traffic within new single-family housing developments were 79, 78 and 54 respectively.
According to Case-Shiller national and 20-city home price indices for October, home prices continued to rise. National home prices rose 0.70 percent for the three months ending in October. Year-over-year, national home prices increased by 6.20 percent. The 20-City Home Price Index also rose by 0.70 percent in October and reported a year-over-year increase of 6.40 percent.
Home builders surveyed by the National Association of Home Builders expressed their highest level of confidence in housing markets since 1999. The index reading for housing market conditions in December hit 74, which exceeded November's reading of 70. Analysts expected a flat reading of 70 for December. Readings over 50 indicate improvement in housing market conditions.
Home price growth approached all-time highs in August, but there were signs that prices may have peaked in some U.S. metro-areas. Seattle, Washington held the top rate of home price growth with a seasonally-adjusted annual appreciation rate of 13,20 percent. Las Vegas, Nevada had the second highest growth in home prices with 8.60 percent in August. San Diego, California reported a seasonally-adjusted annual home price growth rate of 7.80 percent.
Last week's economic reports included NAHB Housing Market Indexes along with readings on housing starts, building permits and existing home sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.
Builder sentiment rebounded in October after lagging during summer months. The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index reading for October was four points higher than the expected reading of 64 and September's reading, which was also 64. Any NAHB Housing Market Index reading over 50 is considered positive.