Builder confidence in the housing market slipped this month, according to the National Association of Homebuilders’ monthly Housing Market Index.
The Housing Market Index is actually a weighted composite of 3 separate surveys. One measures current single-family sales; one measures projected single-family sales; and one measures traffic of prospective buyers.
All three surveys were down in July:
- Single-Family Sales : From 17 (June) to 15 (July)
- Single-Family Project : From 22 (June) to 21 (July)
- Buyer Foot Traffic : From 13 (June) to 10 (July)
The HMI’s July reading of 14 puts confidence at its lowest point since April 2009.
For home buyers in San Francisco , a drop in builder confidence could create an opportunity for negotiation.
Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that most builders were flush with home inventory, unable to find willing buyers. To help move product at that time, builders dropped prices and offered incentives including free upgrades. If confidence continues to sag going forward, home purchase deals of that nature may return — especially as the foreclosure market gets larger.
See, in the past, builders’ main competition for buyers were the existing home sellers. Today, builders compete with the existing home sellers and the banks with REO.
It’s a terrific time to be a home buyer, in other words — sellers are fighting for you. It’s no wonder sellers have little leverage anymore. Couple that with all-time low mortgage rates and affordability for homes is at an all-time high.
If you’re planning to buy a home later this year, you may want to consider moving up your time frame. The market looks ripe for good deals this summer.