Builder confidence back where it was before Sept. 11

Real Estate Watch

April 07, 2002

After taking a dip in February, builder confidence has returned to levels last seen in January and before the Sept. 11 attacks, according to The National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index.

The nationally based index rose two points to 60 for March, which matches its January and August levels.

"March's two-point gain in the HMI ... is a testament to the resilience of the American homebuyer and of the housing industry," said NAHB President Gary Garczynski.

Garczynski also credited "low interest rates, resilient home values and a stabilizing economy" with returning confidence to consumers, which in turn improved builder optimism.

The index, which is the product of a 2-decade-old monthly survey of builders, fell to a more than six-year low of 47 after Sept. 11. It rebounded strongly in November through January before falling slightly in February.

The index is derived from three component indices: current sales, sales expectations and prospective buyer traffic. Builders are asked to rate the three factors as "good," "fair" or "poor."

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