1. HOMEBUILDING SENTIMENT RISES
• According to the latest data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), homebuilding confidence is on the rise. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rose seven index points to a level of 42, its highest reading since September and the most significant monthly increase in the index since June 2013.
• Homebuilder sentiment registered at 81 one year ago, but started to fall as mortgage rates and other borrowing costs slowed demand and hindered supply in 2022. While index levels below 50 are considered in ‘pessimistic’ territory, sentiment had fallen to a low of 31 in December.
• According to analysts at NAHB, the uptick in sentiment reflects recent incremental gains in housing affordability amid a persistent housing shortage.