Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes rose one point in August to 18, its highest level since June 2008, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released Tuesday. “Home builder expectations have been buoyed by the success of the first-time home buyer tax credit and its anticipated boost to buying activity leading up to the Nov. 30 expiration date,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson. “The question is what happens after that — whether there will be enough momentum to keep us moving toward a recovery, particularly in light of significant headwinds such as the severe credit crunch for housing production loans and inappropriate appraisal practices that are scuttling a quarter of all new-home sales. Unless Congress and the Administration focus their attention on housing right now, this improvement may well be short-lived.”
Two out of three of the HMI’s component indexes recorded substantial gains in August, according to the report. The index gauging sales expectations in the next six months rose four points to 30 while, the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose three points to 16. The index gauging current sales conditions was unchanged at 16.
Regionally, all but the South recorded HMI gains in August, according to the report. The Northeast posted an eight-point gain to 24, the Midwest posted a two-point gain to 16, the West posted a three-point gain to 17 and the South posted a one-point decline to 18.

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