WASHINGTON — Home builders’ confidence in the current market for new single-family homes remained unchanged in March as the National Association of Home Builders’ housing market index — a monthly gauge of builder sentiment — held at February’s downwardly revised level of 28.
February’s index was originally reported at 29.
The flat March level followed five consecutive increases, bringing the index to its highest since June 2007.
Thomson Reuters’ poll of economists had predicted the index would come in at 30.
Derived from a monthly survey that the National Association of Home Builders has been conducting for more than 20 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as either “good,” “fair” or “poor.”
The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as either “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.”
Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.
The HMI component gauging current sales conditions declined one point, to 29, in March.
Meanwhile, the component gauging sales expectations in the next six months increased by two points, to 36, and the component gauging traffic of prospective buyers held unchanged at 22.