Reflecting builders' increased concern about the market for new, single-family home sales, the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index (HMI) has fallen eight points to 57 this month.
"Given the recent decline in consumer confidence, along with stock market volatility and rising energy costs, homebuilders appeared less confident about the market for new homes, despite declining mortgage interest rates," said Robert Mitchell, NAHB president and a homebuilder from Rockville.
The eight-point decline brings the HMI back to its midyear level. The index is 27 percent below its peak at the end of 1998.
The HMI is derived from a monthly survey of builders that NAHB has conducted for almost 20 years. Homebuilders are asked to rate current sales of single-family homes and sales expectations for the next six months as "good," "fair" or "poor." They are also asked to rate traffic of prospective buyers into their models as either "high to very high," "average" or "low to very low." Scores for responses to each component are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted overall index, where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.
News in brief
Coldwell Bankers Stevens Realtors announced its top listing and top selling agents in its Baltimore-area offices. Annapolis: Russ and Heather Brown, Betty Netherland and Jeannie Ellis, Russ and Heather Brown; Bel Air: Meredith Leroy, Joan Garvin and Joan Garvin, Barbara Logan; Columbia: Paul Buckmaster, Helga Taranto and Ruth LaMonte, Elaine Hilliard; Ellicott City: Donald Yakel, Kim Huston and Derek Owens, Carol Bizewski-Cooper; Glen Burnie: Deborah Gillen, Dan Nogueira for both categories; Laurel: Donna Vencil, Kevin Hammersmith and Joe Poirier, Kevin Hammersmith; Severna Park: Bonnie Wolfe, Suzan Beal and Bonnie Wolfe, Jeanne Law; Towson-Timonium: Jeann Knepper, Gail Vogel and Sue and Carl Goetzinger, Ron Trzcinski; White Marsh: Mary Borowy, Fred Archer for both categories, Mary Borowy.
On the move
Long and Foster Real Estate Inc. said Karen H. Diehl joined the Hunt Valley office as an associate broker.