Builder confidence dropped down two points to 68 in June, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Experts say elevated lumber prices are to blame; however, the overall sentiment is still strong, as any above-50 readings point to a positive outlook.
“Builders are optimistic about housing market conditions as consumer demand continues to grow,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, in a statement. “However, builders are increasingly concerned that tariffs placed on Canadian lumber and other imported products are hurting housing affordability. Record-high lumber prices have added nearly $ 9,000 to the price of a new single-family home since January 2017.”
“Improved economic growth, continued job creation and solid housing demand should spur additional single-family construction in the months ahead,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, builders do need access to lumber and other construction materials at reasonable costs in order to provide homes at competitive price points, particularly for the entry-level market where inventory is most needed.”
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