By Xavier Fontdegloria


Confidence among U.S. homebuilders increased in October as demand remained strong despite growing affordability challenges stemming from rising material prices and shortages, 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, climbed to 80 in October from 76 in September. 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 76.

--Homebuilders continue to grapple with supply-chain disruptions and labor shortages that are delaying completion times and putting upward pressure on building material and home prices, NAHB chairman Chuck Fowke said.

--"Builders are getting increasingly concerned about affordability hurdles ahead for most buyers," NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said.

--The index gauging current sales conditions increased five points, to 87; the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers rose four points to 65; and the measure of sales expectations in the next six months gained three points, to 84.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2021 10:14 ET (14:14 GMT)

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