Mortgage interest rates remain low and home price increases are easing, improving affordability for prospective buyers in housing markets throughout the country, says the National Association of Home Builders.
The group’s Housing Market Index rose four points to a level of 58, with any anything above 50 signaling that more builders have a positive outlook.
“Growing confidence among consumers is what’s fueling this optimism among builders,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “Members in many areas of the country continue to see increasing buyer traffic and signed contracts.”
Low interest rates, affordable home prices and solid job creation are fueling a “steady housing recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.
After a slow start earlier in the year, the NAHB/Wells Fargo index has remained above the 50-point benchmark for five consecutive months, and “we expect the momentum to continue into 2015,” Crowe said.
All three HMI components increased in November. The index measuring current sales conditions rose five points to 62, while the index measuring expectations for future sales moved up two points to 66. The index component gauging traffic of prospective buyers increased four points to 45.
Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose three points to 44, the South posted a four-point gain to 62, and the West edged up one point to 58. The Midwest registered a two-point loss to 57.