Homebuilders Getting Optimistic; Higher Home Prices Ahead?

Homebuilder confidence continues to rise.

Just two months after falling to a multi-month low, the Housing Market Index surged again in November, climbing another three points to 21. It’s the second straight month that the HMI posted a 3-point gain, catapulting the index to an 18-month.

The Housing Market Index is monthly report from the National Association of Homebuilders. It’s meant to measure confidence among the nation’s homebuilders, scored on a scale of 1-100.

When homebuilder confidence reads 50 or better, it reflects favorable conditions for homebuilders. Readings below 50 reflect unfavorable conditions.

The Housing Market Index has not read north of 50 since April 2006.

As an index, the HMI is actually a composite reading; the result of three separate surveys sent to homebuilders each month. The National Association of Homebuilders asks it members about current single-family home sales volume; projected single-family home sales volume over the next 6 months; and current “foot traffic”.

In November, builder responses were stronger in all 3 categories :

  • Current Single-Family Sales : 20 (+3 from October)
  • Projected Single-Family Sales : 25 (+1 from October)
  • Buyer Foot Traffic : 15 (+1 from October)

And, beyond the headline data, there is an important, noteworthy item in this month’s Housing Market Index.

In November, “Current Single Family Sales” climbed 3 points for the second straight month, and is now at the highest point since May 2010 — the month after last year’s home buyer tax credit expired. And, this increase in sales volume is occurring as new home construction is falling, thereby reducing home inventory nationwide.

That’s an important point for Virginia Beach home buyers.

With more new home sales and fewer new home listings, prices are likely to increase into 2012. Especially with home builders predicting higher sales levels over the next 6 months, and seeing higher levels of buyer foot traffic through their properties today.

For now, though, home prices are stable and mortgage rates are low. This creates low-cost homeownership throughout Virginia , and helps new home construction remain affordable.

If you’re in the market for new home construction, the next 60 days may prove to be your best time to get “a deal”.

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