US home builder confidence continues to gain strength in September

18 September 2012 17:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US builder confidence in the market for newly-built, single-family homes rose for a fifth consecutive month in September, an industry association said on Tuesday.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said that its NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose by three points to 40 – the highest reading since June of 2006.

"This fifth consecutive month of improvement in builder confidence provides further assurance that the housing market is moving in a positive direction, but there's still a long way to go on the road to recovery and several obstacles are slowing our progress," said NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg.

"In particular, unnecessarily tight credit conditions are preventing many builders from putting crews back to work - which would create needed jobs - and discouraging consumers from pursuing a new-home purchase," Rutenberg said.

NAHB chief economist David Crowe added that builders across the US are expressing a more positive outlook on current sales conditions, future sales prospects and the amount of consumer traffic they are seeing through model homes than they have in more than five years.

"However, against the improving demand for new homes, concerns are now rising about the lack of building lots in certain markets and the rising cost of building materials,” Crowe said.

“Given the fragile nature of the housing and economic recovery, these are significant red flags," he added.

The housing market is a key downstream consumer sector for the chemicals industry, driving demand for a wide variety of chemicals, resins and derivative products such as plastic pipe, insulation, paints and coatings, adhesives, roofing materials and synthetic fibres, among many others.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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