U.S. Home-Builder Confidence Fell in September

A gauge of U.S. home-builder confidence fell in September, as hurricanes that battered the Southeast sparked uncertainty among builders.

The National Association of Home Builders on Monday said its index that measures confidence in the market for new single-family homes fell to 64 in September from a revised 67 in August.

September’s drop comes after a pair of severe hurricanes–Harvey, which hit Texas and Louisiana in late August, and Irma, which struck Florida in early September–incited uncertainty among builders. A lack of construction workers and land, which economists say is constraining single-family starts, is likely further stoking jitters.

“The recent hurricanes have intensified our members’ concerns about the availability of labor and the cost of building materials,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “Once the rebuilding process is underway, I expect builder confidence will return to the high levels we saw this spring.”

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a reading of 66 in September.

The NAHB’s confidence gauge traditionally tracked the construction of single-family homes, though the two measures diverged in recent years.
Source: Dow Jones

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