Homebuilders confidence continues to climb for a 6th month


No need for stock photos – to show new construction :)

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders climbed for a sixth straight month in October, adding to signs the real-estate market is healing.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index increased to 41 this month, the highest since June 2006, from 40 in September, according to figures from the Washington-based group released today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for an increase to 41…

Estimates of 49 economists in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 40 to 43. The gauge, which was first published in January 1985, averaged 54 in the five years leading to the recession that started in December 2007. It reached a record low of 8 in January 2009…

The survey asks builders to characterize current sales as “good,” “fair” or “poor” and to gauge prospective buyers’ traffic. It also asks participants to assess the outlook for the next six months.

Confidence improved among builders in three of four U.S. regions, falling in the Midwest. The West led gains with a reading of 49, up from 44 in September…

Hovnanian, based in Red Bank, New Jersey, is among homebuilders seeing gains in sales this year as buyers return to the market. “We certainly believe the housing market’s recent overall strength and our significant improved sales pace this year indicates that the market for new homes has truly bounced off the bottom,” Larry Sorsby, the company’s chief financial officer, said at an Oct. 4 conference. The market “is already in a period of gradual recovery,” he said.

A last-minute addition:

New-home construction in the U.S. surged in September to the highest level in four years, a sign the industry is on the road to recovery.

Starts jumped 15 percent to an 872,000 annual rate last month, the most since July 2008 and exceeding all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 770,000.

Pretty dry stuff – unless you used to worked in construction, in home building – and you’ve been out of work for 3 or 4 years.

This is the last trade I worked in before retiring. I witnessed home prices artificially bumped in increments of 20% at a time. I listened to the sleaziest of realtors telling prospects how to lie about their income to the storefront mortgage companies they already had a sweetheart deal with. We watched the ridiculous trades based on the value of phony mortgage-backed securities. And no one in the Republican administration did a damned thing about it.

We’re slowly working our way out of that mess and it will take a fair piece of time. I don’t want to see our economy dragged back down into that rathole, again.

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One comment

  1. eideard

    Here in New Mexico, storefront mortgage companies – like payday lenders – aren’t even licensed. Sleazy local politicians aren’t any more principled than the national flavor.

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