Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose one point to 68 in September from an upwardly revised August reading of 67, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Sentiment levels have held in the mid- to upper 60s since May.
Builders’ optimism in recent months is being fueled by low interest rates and solid home buyer demand. However, the trade dispute with China is a growing headwind for the industry, both raising the cost of construction inputs and holding back demand in parts of the country that rely on the manufacturing sector. NAHB’s latest Home Building Geography Index shows that home construction in manufacturing areas started weakening in the last quarter of 2018.