Thursday, April 15, 2010

Builder Confidence Index Jumps

Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes improved significantly in April as consumers rushed to take advantage of home buyer tax credits set to expire at the end of the month, according to results of the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), just today. The HMI surged four points to 19 in April, its highest level since September of 2009.

"Home builders reported some real improvement in current sales activity and traffic of prospective buyers through their model homes over the past month," said NAHB Chairman Bob Jones. "While we remain cautious about what future months will bring, it's great to have this positive momentum at the start of the spring home buying season."

"An expected surge in buyer activity leading up to the expiration of the home buyer tax credits and a gradually improving economy helped to brighten builders' view of the marketplace in April," confirmed NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Meanwhile, builders have a more neutral view of what may come in the next six months, and are very aware of the many factors that continue to drag on housing at this time - including the critical shortage of credit for new and existing projects, problems with inaccurate appraisals, and the ongoing flow of foreclosed properties on the market. Greater economic growth, particularly in the job market, and the abatement of these housing issues are needed to help move home building to a more sustained recovery."
The Midwest and South each registered substantial HMI gains in April, rising five points to 15 and four points to 21, respectively. Meanwhile, the Northeast posted no change at 22 and the West dipped two points to 13.
While the survey indicated no change in the Northeast, I have certainly been contacted by many buyers this past month who are interested in new construction.  To help this trend, builders are becoming aggressive about selling inventory, so they can concentrate on building as the season gets into full swing.
You may not have time now to use the tax credit (only 15 more days unless Congress extends it again) but you do have time to look at some new homes in Mercer County.  I know the builders and the developments - let's go preview some construction sites and plans.
Joe Giancarli, Sales Associate

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