What’s happening: The Housing Market Index, a measure of builders’ expectation for the next six months, dropped to 79 in March from a downwardly revised 81 in February.
- The number represents a six-month low and the fourth straight monthly decline.
Why it’s happening: “Builders have long cited building material supply side constraints and rising construction costs as headwinds, but now the expectations of higher interest rates are hitting them harder,” according to CNBC.
- “The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is already a full percentage point higher than it was a year ago and continues to rise. That change can be seen in one of the index’s three components.”
Buyer traffic is up: There’s good news for those looking to sell their homes, as traffic for potential buyers increased from 65 to 67 from February to March, boosted by low inventories of homes for sale.