U.S. homebuilder confidence rose in December, the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo Index showed, as easing interest rates appear to contribute to improved sale conditions. According to the index, builder confidence rose to 37 in December from 34 in November, thereby exceeding analysts’ expectations of 36.
“With mortgage rates down roughly 50 basis points over the past month, builders are reporting an uptick in traffic as some prospective buyers who previously felt priced out of the market are taking a second look,” NAHB Chairwoman Alicia Huey observed, reflecting on the easing market conditions.
In October, the average rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage surged to a two-decade high of 7.9% before retreating to 7.07% last week, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed. This is another sign of easing inflation, with investors becoming more confident that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates early in 2024.