Homebuilder confidence soars in May

Construction workers build a single family home in San Diego  California   Thomson Reuters

The sub-categories within the index were also stronger in May: views of current conditions rose 2 points to 76, and views of the coming six months jumped 4 points to 79.

After subsiding in April, home-builder sentiment in the States rose two points in May to the second-highest level since the recession.

The index measures builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes.

According to NAHB Chairman MacDonald, "builder optimism is solidifying even as they deal with higher building materials costs and labour shortages". "Especially as existing home inventory remains tight, we can expect increased demand for new construction moving forward", NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz said.

In March, the index reached 71 which was the highest since June 2005 during the height of the prior housing boom.

The prospective buyer traffic component indicated rising interest in new home sales, as it scored above the breakeven level of 50.

The outlook for the housing market is still likely to be mixed in the short term with bond yields holding below 2017 highs which will help support demand for mortgages and ease affordability concerns slightly.

Tuesday morning, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new residential construction in the month of April.

"A decade after the housing bust started, households are becoming more enthusiastic about homeownership", he said. Economists polled by Reuters forecast builders likely broke ground at an annualized rate of 1.260 million units, faster than a 1.215 million unit pace in March.

On the other hand, the barometer on prospective buyers dipped to 51 in May from 52.

Regionally over the month, starts were down in the Northeast (down 37 percent from March) and the South (down 9 percent), but rose in the Midwest (up 41 percent) and the West (5 percent).

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