WASHINGTON – March 19, 2019 – The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index was unchanged at 62 this month, which is just below the median estimate of 63 in a Bloomberg survey.

The score signals that sentiment among homebuilders held steady in March, sustaining a rebound from a recent three-year low on improvement in sales and a brighter outlook for the next six months.

Two of the three sub-gauges increased, with measures of present sales of single-family homes and the outlook for purchases over the next six months both rising to their highest levels since October. The upbeat assessments may signal that the housing industry is shaking off a series of downbeat reports from across the sector as consumer sentiment improves and the Federal Reserve pledges to remain patient on further interest-rate increases.

However, the sub-gauge of buyer traffic decreased to 44 from 48 in one negative sign, suggesting that prospective buyers still face barriers to affordability.

Three of four geographic regions improved, led by the Northeast, which rose to 52, the highest since November. The South and West also gained while the Midwest slumped.

"Builders report the market is stabilizing following the slowdown at the end of 2018 and they anticipate a solid spring home buying season," says NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde.

Source: Bloomberg (03/18/19) Edwards, Carlyann

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