Home builder confidence in the housing market for newly built houses rose three points from February to March, reaching 51, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). It was the fourth consecutive monthly gain, and the first time sentiment passed the breakeven point of 50 since July 2023.

NAHB credited the change to a lack of existing house inventory, strong demand, and mortgage rates below 7% since last December. That has allowed builders to pull back from reducing home prices to boost sales. In December, 36% of builders reported cutting home prices. In March, the number was down to 24%. That’s the lowest percentage since July 2023. However, the average price reduction — 6% — has been the same for the last nine months. The number of builders offering some kind of incentive has been between 58% and 62% since September 2023. In March 2024, it was 60%.

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Erik Sherman


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