The end of the home buying tax credit on April 30th did little to impact the confidence of home builders as the May NAHB figure rose 3 pts to 22 and was 2 pts above expectations. Builders believe the April momentum can carry forward without the credit. The index is at the highest level since Aug ’07 and well off the record low of 8 back in Jan ’09 but 50 is the cutoff between growth and contraction and we were last there back in May ’06. Both Present conditions and Future outlook rose as did Prospective Buyers Traffic. Prospective buyers rose the most in the Northeast and West and saw modest gains in the Midwest and South. With optimism for the next 6 mo’s according to the NAHB, they believe “low interest rates, great selection, stabilizing prices, and a recovering job market – are taking the place of tax incentives to generate buyer demand.” The still huge amount of foreclosures creates the main challenge to homebuilding’s rebound.
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