US Homebuilder Sentiment Slips, Overall Outlook Still Positive
$DIA, $SPY, $QQQ, $VXX
US homebuilders are a bit less optimistic about their sales prospects, as their overall outlook still remains favorable.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday slipped to 68 this month. That’s down 3 points from 71 in March, when it jumped to the highest marks since June 2005.
Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has been above 60 since September 2016.
The April reading fell short of analyst forecasts.
They expected the index to dip to 70, according to FactSet.
Readings gauging builders’ view of sales now and over the next 6 months also edged lower, as did a measure of traffic by prospective buyers.
Despite the decline in the latest builder sentiment survey, sales of new US homes have been robust this year and are expected to continue climbing.
Low mortgage rates and a solid job market have helped drive home sales higher.
Sales of new US homes increased in February at the fastest pace since July, reaching a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 592,000. That sales pace was nearly 13% higher than in the same month last year.
A pickup in mortgage rates last fall helped spur sales early this year. In recent weeks, mortgage rates have been edging lower, making the cost of home loans less expensive.
The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has fallen the past 4 weeks, declining to 4.08% last week, up from an average of 3.65% all last year, but continuing low by historical standards.
This month’s builder index was based on 307 respondents.
A measure of current sales conditions for single-family homes fell 3 points to 74, while a gauge of traffic by prospective buyers declined one point to 52. Builders’ view of sales over the next 6 months slid 3 points to 75.
Monday, the major US stock market indexes finished at: DJIA +183.67 at 20636.92, NAS Comp +51.64 at 5856.79, S&P 500 +20.06 at 2349.01
Volume: Trade was below average with 855-M/shares exchanged on the NYSE.
- NAS Comp +8.8% YTD
- S&P 500 +4.9% YTD
- DJIA +4.4% YTD
- Russell 2000 +0.3% YTD
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