The Nat’l Assoc of Home Builders index was 19, in line with expectations but is up 1 point from August. It’s now at the highest level since May ’08 but is still well below the magic level of 50 which is the breakeven between those that say things are better and those that say worse. Present conditions rose two points to 19 but the Future outlook fell 1 point to 29 and maybe is a reflection of some nervousness ahead of the expiration of the home buying tax credit on Nov 30th. Prospective Buyers Traffic rose one point to 17 as the clock ticks on the tax credit if it is not renewed. All 4 regions saw gains in this category. The Nat’l Assoc of Realtors in particular is in major lobbying mode to get the tax credit extended and expanded,
In terms of the tax credit and its impact going forward, here is a quote from the Chairman of the NAHB who is also a home builder from Tulsa, Okla, the tax credit “window is now basically closed for being able to start a new home that can be completed in time for buyers to take advantage of the tax credit before it expires at the end of November, and builders are concerned about what will keep the market moving once the credit is gone. Congress needs to act now to keep the credit from expiring just as its intended effect on buyer demand is starting to materialize.”
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