The National Association of Home Builders recently released their monthly confidence index and at 62, February 2019 marks the highest index in the past four months. The index may be broken down into a subset of categories, all of which show impressive gains, including sales conditions at 67, six-month expectations at 68 and buyer traffic at 48.
Any figure that is reported above fifty percent signals great improvement. And while buyer traffic might seem small in comparison to other figures, it is actually rare that it ever ascends the 50 point threshold.
As MarketWatch outlined in an article following the index release, right now, “builders are in a sweet spot: economic conditions like a strong job market are helping them sell more homes, and falling mortgage rates are making that job even easier.”
To be sure, the end of 2018 gave some pause for concern as the real estate market in Seattle—and many other cities around the nation—cooled. While some speculated it was the end of the current cycle, it has become clear that the close of 2018 was akin to a pause. Market fundamentals in the Seattle area remain strong and as MarketWatch writes, nationally, January 2019 saw a 43 percent increase in mortgage applications from the previous month, “slightly edging last January’s tally to touch the highest level since 2013, the Mortgage Bankers Association said last week.”