After four months of growth, builder confidence remains flat in April

by Patrick Regan

Builder confidence remained flat in April compared to March, ending a four-month streak of growing positive sentiment, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported Tuesday.

The builder confidence score for newly built single-family homes rated a 51 this month, the same as March, NAHB said. Any number above 50 indicates more builders view the market as good than poor.

“With many frustrated buyers back on the fence waiting for interest rates to fall, policymakers can help ease affordability challenges by reducing inefficient regulatory rules that raise housing costs and limit supply,” NAHB Chairman Carl Harris said in a news release. 

Over the last three months, the average confidence score for the Northeast increased four points to 63; the Midwest gained five points to 46; the South rose one point to 51; and the West gained four points to 47.

“April’s flat reading suggests potential for demand growth is there, but buyers are hesitating until they can better gauge where interest rates are headed,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. “With the markets now adjusting to rates being somewhat higher due to recent inflation readings, we still anticipate the Federal Reserve will announce future rate cuts later this year, and that mortgage rates will moderate in the second half of 2024.”

The April survey also revealed that 22% of builders cut home prices this month, down from 24% in March and 36% in December.

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