Home Builders Index Falls in March – lowest since summer – MarketWatch

I see lots of articles trying to explain why the housing market is not more robust. Here is just another. The uniqueness of this is the data source’s obvious flailing about for an explanation. In the course of a few sentences, he covers nearly every possible influence on the housing market:

“The drop in builder confidence is largely attributable to supply chain issues, such as lot and labor shortages as well as tight underwriting standards,” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. Yet he asserted that sales should pick up as the weather warms and an improved economy drums up more demand for housing. “These obstacles notwithstanding, we are expecting solid gains in the housing market this year,” he added, “buoyed by sustained job growth, low mortgage interest rates and pent-up demand.”

The two economic forces he does not mention, and which in my mind are critical, are real wage growth (it’s nice that there are more jobs, but not nice that they pay too little to buy a house) and consumer confidence (consumers don’t buy if they don’t believe in the future).

Home builders index falls to 53 in March – lowest since summer – MarketWatch.

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