U.S. Homebuilder Sentiment Falls to 11-Month Low in July

A contractor works on the roof of a house under construction in the Stillpointe subdivision in Sumter, South Carolina, U.S. (Photographer: Micah Green/Bloomberg)

U.S. Homebuilder Sentiment Falls to 11-Month Low in July

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders pulled back in July to an 11-month low as builders contend with elevated materials prices and ongoing supply shortages.

A gauge of builder sentiment decreased for a second month to 80 from 81 in June, National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo data showed Monday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for no change in the index from the month before.

The figures underscore how higher materials costs and supply chain disruptions are dissuading builders from rapidly replenishing the lean supply of available homes. Low mortgage rates helped spur a surge in buyer demand, but demand for housing has outstripped supply, forcing prices skyward.

“Builders continue to grapple with elevated building material prices and supply shortages, particularly the price of oriented strand board, which has skyrocketed more than 500% above its January 2020 level,” NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said in a statement. Similar to particle board, the engineered wood is a common material used in home building.

The report also showed a measure of current sales conditions and a gauge of prospective buyer traffic fell to their lowest levels since August. However, sales expectations for the next six months rose two points.

All U.S. regions but the Midwest registered decreases from the prior month.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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