A stronger economy and a severe housing shortage have the nation’s homebuilders feeling better than they have in two decades.
Builder confidence in the newly built, single-family home market jumped 5 points in December to 76, the highest reading since June 1999, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Anything above 50 is considered positive.
November’s reading was also revised higher by 1 point. The index stood at 56 last December. At the worst of the housing crash, in 2009, builder sentiment hit a low of just 8.
“Builders are continuing to see the housing rebound that began in the spring, supported by a low supply of existing homes, low mortgage rates and a strong labor market,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a homebuilder and developer from Torrington, Conn.