Homebuilder Confidence Remains Counter-intuitively Tepid

July 18, 2019

With mortgage rates seeing large drops in recent months, and existing inventory historically low, you would think the nation’s homebuilders would be feeling very confident. Despite this, builder confidence in July is at a 65, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. This is only one point higher than in May. Though anything higher than 50 is considered positive, July’s reading was well below where it was the same month last year.

Confidence is being held back by two major issues. First, a lack of skilled labor. With the labor market historically tight, builders are having trouble finding skilled workers like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. The second issues the increased cost of materials, some of which is caused by tariffs.

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