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Builder confidence hits lowest level since June 2020

A decline in consumer demand amid rising interest rates, increases in materials costs and home price growth led builder confidence to drop 8 points to 69 in May, according to the NAHB

Homebuilder confidence took a steep drop in May, tallying a fifth consecutive month of declines, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released on Tuesday.

A decline in consumer demand amid rising interest rates, substantial increases in materials costs and continued home price growth led builder confidence to drop eight points to 69 in May, the lowest level the metric has reached since June 2020, only a few months after the coronavirus pandemic breached U.S. soil.

“The housing market is facing growing challenges,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said in a statement. “Building material costs are up 19 percent from a year ago, in less than three months mortgage rates have surged to a 12-year high, and based on current affordability conditions, less than 50 percent of new and existing home sales are affordable for a typical family. Entry-level and first-time home buyers are especially bearing the brunt of this rapid rise in mortgage rates.”

NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter added that the industry’s affordability woes have finally attracted enough attention for the White House to respond with some action to help ease the situation

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