Builders remain cautious with just a hint of optimism about the coming selling season, as they watch heavy foreclosure rates continue to weigh down markets across the country and make it increasingly difficult for prospective buyers to sell their existing homes.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index has released February’s numbers, reporting a reading of 16 for the fourth consecutive month, a very low number for the index. In the 27 years since it began collecting data, the index has averaged a February reading of 49. Any number below 50 indicates that a majority of builders feel sales conditions for single-family homes are poor rather than good. The index has not recorded a reading above 50 since April 2006.
Though some pockets of optimism have begun to emerge, many prospective home buyers are concerned about selling their existing homes in the current market or face difficulty securing credit for a home purchase—even when they are well-qualified. (Builder)