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Homebuilder Confidence Plummets

Builders’ confidence in the single-family homes market dropped to the lowest level since the pandemic began—almost the biggest drop from month to month in the history of the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, according to CNBC.

The numbers: The index plummeted 12 points in July, to 55—the biggest drop since the survey began 37 years ago, with the exception of April 2020. (Any rating above 50 is still in positive territory, however.)

  • “[S]entiment has now fallen 24 points since March, when mortgage rates began moving higher.”
  • “The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has nearly doubled since January and is now hovering just below 6%.”

Digging deeper: “Of the index’s three components, builder sentiment about current sales conditions dropped 12 points to 64, while sales expectations for the next six months fell 11 points to 50 and sentiment about buyer traffic declined 11 points to 37.”

The NAM says: NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray added his view, saying, “These data suggest that the housing market is cooling significantly, with higher mortgage rates and affordability being top of mind for builders and potential homebuyers.”

In related news: Fed officials seem most likely to raise rates by another 0.75 percentage points this month, though a full one-point hike is still a possibility, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

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