Market conditions fuel builder, home buyer confidence

Market conditions fuel builder, home buyer confidence

Posted 01/17/2013

84503512_4_400x267Slow and steady wins the race – at least that’s how the story goes in Aesop’s classic fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. And with the way consumer demand is deliberately building in new markets nationwide each month, it appears this strategy also applies to housing recoveries.

“Consistent, positive reports on housing starts, permits, prices, new-home sales and builder confidence in recent months provide further confirmation that a gradual, but steady housing recovery is underway across much of the nation,” said David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), last month in his latest economic and housing forecast.

According to Crowe, tight lending standards for home buyers and builders, inaccurate appraisals and proposals by policy makers to tamper with the mortgage interest deduction could threaten future recovery, but in general, demand that once was localized is beginning to fan out into new geographic areas. So much so, in fact, that supply may run short in some of the hotter markets.

At Maracay Homes, we’re addressing this issue by opening more than 10 new neighborhoods in metro Phoenix this year. The first three neighborhoods – Lyon’s Gate in Gilbert, Ariz., and Calderra and Los Vientos in the Portales master-planned community in Goodyear, Ariz. – open next month.

We're excited about the future – a sentiment shared by a number of our colleagues across the country and reflected in the January NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released yesterday. The report indicates builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes was unchanged from December, holding firm at an index level of 47. Following eight consecutive monthly gains, the figure remains at its highest level since April 2006. The index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales, sales expectations and prospective-buyer traffic for the next six months.

Barry Rutenberg, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Gainsville, Fla., offers the following reasons for optimism, saying in a statement, “Conditions in the housing market look much better now than at the beginning of 2012 and an increasing number of housing markets are showing signs of recovery, which should bode well for future home sales later this year.”