U.S. Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes edged up 1% to 76 in September.
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Builder confidence increased slightly in September on lower lumber prices and strong housing demand as the housing sector continues to struggle with building material supply chain issues and labor challenges.
NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke stated that builder sentiment had been gradually cooling since the HMI rose to an all-time high reading of 90 last November.
The September data show stability as some building material cost challenges continue to decline, more so for softwood lumber. But, delivery times remain extended, and the chronic construction labor shortage is expected to persist.
The HMI index measuring current sales conditions jumped one point to 82, the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose by 2 points to 61, and the gauge estimating sales expectations remained steady at 81.
Housing affordability will be a key demand-side challenge in the upcoming quarters, considering the rapid rate of growth for home prices and construction costs over the last year.