partlycloudy
Saturday October 20th, 2018 12:22AM

Optimism among builders slides for fourth consecutive month

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Homebuilder confidence slid for the fourth consecutive month with steadily rising mortgage rates and sky-high home prices putting ownership out of reach for more and more Americans.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index for April, released Monday, fell one point to 69. Any reading above 50 indicates more builders see sales conditions as good rather than poor, but it's the most extended decline since the run-up to the housing bust.

The index has been above 60 since September 2016 and it hit a record high in December. April's reading is the lowest since November.

Builders' view of current sales conditions fell two points to 75, the outlook for sales over the next six months fell one point, to 77. A measure of buyer traffic held steady at 51.

The National Association of Homebuilders cited higher building material costs and a lack of land to build on as key reasons for the nick in confidence readings. The group said winter weather slowed building in some areas.

Also being shaken are investors, which have been selling off holdings in the nation's largest homebuilders.

D.R. Horton Inc., Lennar Corp., PulteGroup Inc., Toll Brothers Inc., Beazer Homes USA Inc. and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. have all fallen 11 percent or more since the start of the year. The S&P 500 is positive for the year even after a number of major sell-offs.

The average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages edged up to 4.42 percent, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Rates have ticked steadily higher ahead of the traditional spring home buying season which is just now beginning to ramp up.

While the National Association of Realtors reported a 3.1 percent jump in pending sales for February, that followed a 5 percent tumble in January and the index is still down 4.1 percent compared with last year.

Sales of new homes fell for the third straight month in February, according to the Commerce Department. Sales of existing homes rose in February following two months of decline

The U.S. releases April data on new and existing home sales next week.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Comey speculates Russians may have damaging info on Trump
Comey, Trump escalate their war of words
10:32AM ( 3 minutes ago )
UK's May to face angry lawmakers over Syria airstrikes
Prime Minister Theresa May is set to face British lawmakers to explain her decision to launch airstrikes against Syria without a vote in Parliament
10:32AM ( 4 minutes ago )
The Latest: Starbucks CEO hopes to meet with arrested men
The CEO of Starbucks is in Philadelphia, hoping to meet with the two black men were arrested after store employees called 911 to say they were trespassing
10:16AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Russian begins blocking messaging app Telegram
Russia's communications watchdog has begun enforcing a nationwide ban for a popular messaging app
9:51AM ( 45 minutes ago )
Liz Weston: Beat the retiree crowds to these 5 places abroad
Retiring in less popular places could mean a lower cost of living and a more authentic experience abroad
9:45AM ( 51 minutes ago )
The Latest: Greek protesters target Truman statue
Members of a communist student organization have attempted to pull down a statue of U.S. President Harry Truman during an anti-war protest in central Athens
9:17AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Stocks stable, oil drops after US-led air strikes on Syria
Global stock markets are stable and the price of oil is down as investors seem convinced that U.S.-led air strikes on Syria will not escalate
7:02AM ( 3 hours ago )
US to hit Russia with new sanctions for aiding Syria's Assad
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has indicated new economic sanctions will be announced Monday against Russia for enabling the government of Syrian leader Bashar Assad in its use of chemical weapons
6:18AM ( 4 hours ago )
Shares in ad giant WPP fall amid breakup speculation
WPP shares fell as much as 5.6 percent as investors speculated that the world's biggest advertising company will be broken up after the resignation of CEO Martin Sorrell
6:13AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Comey speculates Russians may have damaging info on Trump
Comey, Trump escalate their war of words
10:32AM ( 3 minutes ago )
The Latest: Starbucks CEO hopes to meet with arrested men
The CEO of Starbucks is in Philadelphia, hoping to meet with the two black men were arrested after store employees called 911 to say they were trespassing
10:16AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Turkey's opposition protests state of emergency with sit-ins
Supporters of Turkey's main opposition party have staged sit-in demonstrations across Turkey to protest the state of emergency that was declared after a coup attempt in 2016
10:13AM ( 22 minutes ago )
'Full Metal Jacket' actor R. Lee Ermey dies at 74
R. Lee Ermey, a former Marine who made a career in Hollywood playing hard-nosed military men like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket," has died
10:12AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Starbucks CEO hopes to meet with men arrested in Philly shop
The CEO of Starbucks was in Philadelphia on Monday and said he hoped to meet with two black men who were arrested when the coffee chain's employees called 911 to say they were trespassing
10:06AM ( 30 minutes ago )