Rise in New Home Sales, Traffic & Optimism

In a sign that the housing market may be picking up, builder confidence in April made its most dramatic increase in nearly seven years, according to The Housing Market Index, by the National Association of Home Builders in conjunction with Wells Fargo. The index rose to 14 from its prior level of 9, which was the biggest increase since May 2003.

In a separate survey of homebuilders by real estate consultant John Burns, new home sales, traffic and expectations all lifted meaningfully in March, according to a survey of homebuilders.

Source: Real Trends

While the improvement can be partially attributed to seasonality, a shift in builders’ optimism in many metros is also in play. The rating of future sales improved substantially, and expectations rose in every single region except the Northwest.

Already this year, 18 percent of survey participants have purchased land. Some 29 percent indicate they will buy land in 2Q 2009. By 2010, 47 percent expect to be buying. Builders are targeting Washington D.C., Charlotte, Dallas and Tampa for near-term land buys.

There was a pronounced message that buying would not be occurring in Phoenix, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando and Orange County for quite some time. There were mixed messages in California markets of Riverside-San Bernardino, San Diego and Sacramento.

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Neil D. Lyon CRB, CRS, GRI Cell: 505.660.8600 Direct: 505.954.5505

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