By Xavier Fontdegloria


Home-builder confidence in the U.S. rose slightly in September on lower lumber prices and strong housing demand, according to a measure released Monday by the National Association of Home Builders. Here are the report's main takeaways:

--The association's housing-market index, which gauges the single-family housing market, rose to 76 in September from 75 in August, ending a three-month decline. A number above 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

--Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected the indicator to remain unchanged at 75.

--The September data show stability as some building material cost challenges ease, particularly for softwood lumber, said NAHB chairman Chuck Fowke. However, delivery times remain long and labor shortages are expected to persist, he said.

--"The single-family building market has moved off the unsustainably hot pace of construction of last fall and has reached a still hot but more stable level of activity," NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. The indicator reached a record-high level of 90 on November 2020.

--The index gauging current sales conditions rose one point, to 82; the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers increased two points, to 61; and the measure of sales expectations in the next six months held steady at 81.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 20, 2021 10:14 ET (14:14 GMT)

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